The following was written for the Friends of Statts brochure 2013. I thought it should be posted here for various reasons.
Life has a way of happening whether we want it to or not. It doesn’t care if we are ready for changes. Things are thrown at us constantly and indiscriminately. It is mysterious, uncompromising, and sometimes cruel. It can also be joyous, insightful, inspiring, and wonderful. No matter what, it goes on; sometimes for the better and, often, for the worse. No matter, we are expected to move along with it. Some believe things happen for a reason. I, myself, fit into this category. I was shot in the neck at point-blank range five years ago and it changed… well, everything.
As a result of the shooting I was paralyzed from the chest down. I’ve been confined to a wheelchair since. At this point I have all but forgotten how it felt to walk, or run; to crawl into my bed at night, or to get up in the morning. I now do those last two tasks with assistance. I now do a lot of tasks with assistance. At first, having to rely on others so much really got to me. Time has changed a lot of that for me. Now I am thankful to have caregivers who treat me as though we are family. I love them and they love me. They serve as much more than my helpers. They are my therapists, confidants, and, most importantly, my friends. Without them I would be lost.
Being dependent on others for so much has definitely humbled me. I consider myself to be extremely lucky in having such a great support support system. My family and friends, including my caregivers, mean the world to me. Some in my situation are not so lucky. Not a day passes that I don’t think about the good in people around me. I truly have the best friends on the planet. How many people can say they have a fan club? The amazing “Friends of Statts” continually amaze me with planning events designed specifically to help raise funds to keep me living a decent life. Quadriplegia isn’t cheap. Sure, it sounds like fun to roll around in a fancy motorized chair all day every day, but it is not all fun and games, believe me. I can’t say for sure that I would trade everything for a working pair of legs. What I have learned, and, more importantly, what I have gained in the last five years is priceless to me. I have seen the best in people. I feel extremely lucky for that reason alone.
The past two years have been particularly challenging, though amazingly rewarding at the same time. I have been bed-ridden for the better part of those two years. That, in itself, is enough to drive a normal person crazy. I resolved to not let it happen to me. My writing has gone from personally blogging to publicly reviewing records for a few online outlets. It has really kept my mind moving in the right direction. The thing that really got that ball rolling was that Decibel magazine allowed me to tell my story to their readers. Things kind of took off after that story appeared on their blog in late January of this year. Since then I have written over 40 reviews, and have done a couple of interviews of some amazing bands. Music has been good to me. It has always been a passion of mine, and I could not be happier than I am these days. Though I do miss playing in bands, being able to write about it keeps me connected.
Art is also very important to me. I am still drawing a bit every day and feel am getting better and better, developing a style. My goal is to eventually get limited edition prints made, sell them online, and possibly show them in gallery settings. Time will tell. Hopefully it will go as planned. After all, things do happen for a reason. For better or for worse. I accept things either way.
Life has a tendency to throw us curve balls. There’s not much we can do about it, but we can make the most of it. That is all I hope to do. That is all any of us can hope for in the long run.
Thank you and take care.
Donations can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal, or by sending checks/money orders to: The Jason Statts Assistance Account, P.O. Box 801578, Acworth, GA 30101.