Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You might have missed it...

Gates rolls his eyes at me, at least once, each time I frequent his hospital room.  He doesn’t do it for any other reason than it’s his only ability to display a form of humility. 

As hard as I try not to do it, I end up gushing over how well he’s doing, how much he motivates me to “buck up” in life; that’s the trigger sending his eyes heavenward.

Anytime I get an email telling me to “turn my speakers up” before I open an attachment, I know I’m in for an embarrassing piece of audio.  I’ve learned; I never turn my speakers up. 

I give you my word, the audio which I’m going to request you listen, will not plague you with some attention causing prank, however be forewarned, it will definitely stir up emotion.  This is not a new video, but I’m confident you will experience it in a whole new way. 

Turn your speakers up:

If you were distracted at all, you might have missed it.  As his physical therapist walks away, following an attempt to hold his weighted arm, Gates, frustrated with his performance, says the words:

“Do it again.” 

When no one expected more of him, he expected more of himself. 

During my last visit I thanked Gates for his attitude towards is current plight.  His response:

“You’ve gotta look at the little things.  The fact I can lift my arms is a huge blessing.  I’m way grateful for that.”

Gates really doesn’t understand why what he’s doing is so uplifting to those who watch him.  It’s second nature for Gates; any discussion otherwise is indiscernible to him.

Today Gates had practice.  Yet, this was a totally different practice than he had while playing football or swimming.  This time he practiced getting in and out of the car.  A task each one of us, who drive, does multiple times daily, all by habit and without conscious thought.  The reason Gates rehearsed over-and-over again:  To prepare to see his friends and supporters at the “Gates’ May Day” event this Saturday.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."   ~Theodore Roosevelt


  1. I noticed him saying "DO IT AGAIN" the very first time I watched that video.
    This attitude and determination of his is why he's made such progress and will continue to improve each day.
    GO GATES!!!!

  2. You go Gates! We are all pulling for you! Cherie, can't wait to see you Saturday and give you a huge hug!

  3. You know why we all stand in "Awe" Gates...because your attitude is different of so many others. Since your first days you always had a smile on your face and were making those around you laugh. You are an example to all you encounter because of your indominable happy at the progress your making...keep up the fight :) OH...and we miss you in STICU :)

  4. GO GATES GO!!!!!!!!!!!!! yahoo!!!!! you can do it :)

  5. My friend just e-mailed me this story and blog site of Gates. It took me back to my story over 3 years ago with my son. I want to share my blog that I did for the first year with my son and his progress. His site is
    Your son reminds me of my son. In the video's and pictures he has a smile through this. My name is Stacie Godfrey and my email is I am 3 years in front of your challenge. I have had many people impact my life and my son's life. We have had many blessings come to our family. We have lived by the concept of "You can't control what happens to you, but you control the way you react to it." and that "we can find good in any situation". Please visit my site to learn my son's story. I know that our trials become blessings only when we share them with others.
    Our thoughts and Prayers are with you,
    Stacie Godfrey