Life is Precious

By
Home Inspector with Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc.

I personally experienced something not too long ago that reminded me just how precious life is and also how short it can be-I fell from a roof and broke my back on April 8th. Immediately after I fell, as I was trying to sit still so I wouldn't do anymore damage, I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. I thought of the past (growing up with my two brothers, my parents 25th wedding anniversary, meeting my wife, our wedding), the present (I might be paralyzed) and of the future (possibly not being able to pick up my children, work or do any of the things I really enjoy). If you haven't had such an experience, you should consider yourself very fortunate. 

Luckily I wasn't paralyzed and will make a full recovery in the coming months, but the experience was life changing. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the ladder slipping out from under me and how much worse it could have been. I think about what I did wrong, how it happened so fast that I had no time to react, and what I can do to try and prevent it from happening again. But, I also know that things happen in life that we don't plan on. 

Just a few days ago I received a letter from a local electrician that I regularly refer work to notifying me that his son (12 years old) had been killed while on vacation and that he was taking a leave of absence to grieve. As the article in the local paper explained, the boy was struck by a semitrailer as he was trying to retrieve a storage bin lid that had blown off the family vehicle. When I read both the letter and the article I was deeply saddened. I can't even begin to imagine the pain the family is feeling. I take some comfort in the knowledge that they have family and friends in the area to help them through this terrible time. And it again reminded me how precious life is and how we should appreciate every day we have. 

As this Independence Day approaches, I sincerely hope that you take the time to appreciate this great country we live in, to be with the ones you love, and to live life to the fullest. 

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams." - Ashley Smith 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a safe and fun filled holiday weekend.

Comments (10)

Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin
C2 Financial - San Diego, CA
C2 Financial

Jason, profound words and thoughts...when life is "rolling along" we often take our peace for granted.  In realtiy it is the good times that help us through the bad times.  Sending my wishes for your full recovery and my prayers to the family who lost their son so tragically.

Jul 01, 2010 01:28 PM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE - Mississauga, ON
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Jason, thank you for sharing your story... the message is very profound.. and we often run from one thing to the next without taking the time to enjoy our life and truly appreciate it..

I can`t imagine the grief of losing a child, how terrible for those parents... and I guess it puts things into perspective... and make us step back and know just how lucky we are... and how lucky you are that your injuries were not life threatening or worse than what they were.

Wishing you a speedy recovery...and thank you for reminding us all just how precious life truly is.

Regards, and have a safe 4th of July

Jul 01, 2010 01:36 PM
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Golden Girls with SW Desert Homes - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Your story brought tears to my eyes.  We do have to be "present" in our lives and realize what a gift we have in life, in family, etc.  A reminder to drivers over the Fourth of July weekend too - DON'T be a statistic - leave your road rage at  home.  I hope your message gets out to as many people as possible - your reminder is poignant and timely.  I'm going to re-post and tweet it too.  Thanks for sharing.

Jul 01, 2010 01:50 PM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jason, very well said----and you are so right----the insights you talk about are difficult to grasp if you have not personally been there.

Jul 01, 2010 03:22 PM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jason,

I thought of you yesterday when I was on a ladder going somewhere I really was not that comfortable. A couple times since your accident, I have just flat told people I was not going up there and in the report I wrote it was unsafe. We like to do a good job, be brave and all, but carrying this too far, for the sake of a home inspection, just plain is nuts.

Jul 01, 2010 04:09 PM
Jason Aldrich
Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc. - Sequim, WA
Sequim, WA Home Inspector

Deborah, Gloria and Cara - Thank you for your kind words.

Charles - Thank you, and I know you know from experience what I am talking about.

Steve - I am glad you are giving it more thought before going up on those iffy roofs. It's just not worth it!

Jul 01, 2010 05:12 PM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jason,

No question about it, that has impacted me. If it can happen to someone as young, and in as good a shape as you are in, then it can happen to anyone. The law of course gets into traversing roofs quite heavily, but common sense and safety MUST prevail. Being crippled for life or killed for $400.00 just does not make any sense. I walk them when they are safe in my view. But I might be more liberal at determining a roof is UNSAFE than I was prior to your accident. But even when a roof is safe, the ladder can start to slip sideways on a slick gutter getting up or down and that can be a real risk too. I am watching it and, each time I go up the ladder now, I think of your true story.

Jul 02, 2010 02:57 AM
Jason Aldrich
Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc. - Sequim, WA
Sequim, WA Home Inspector

Steve, you mentioned on your last that the ladder "the ladder can start to slip sideways on a slick gutter getting up or down and that can be a real risk too." I couldn't agree with you more, which is why I purchased the Ladder Lock. It helps secure your ladder to the gutter or drip edge while you are on the ladder. I suggest you take a look. I have been using it for several weeks now and have found it makes a huge difference.

Jul 02, 2010 03:42 AM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jason,

I will check out ASAP. Sometimes I use rope, but that sounds good. I am taking a lot less for granted lately. Would that work for the extend and climbs too, or does the ladder have to be a specific shape?

Jul 04, 2010 05:13 AM
Jason Aldrich
Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc. - Sequim, WA
Sequim, WA Home Inspector

Steve, I think it's designed for a standard extension ladder, but it might work for your type of ladder too. The width (parallel to the gutter) of the piece that goes over the ladder is just over an inch wide. So, you should be able to measure the width of your ladder at the gutter height and see if it will work. If push come to shove, the piece could be bent a bit to make it work.

Jul 19, 2010 02:06 PM