What can I say? I'm a sucker for a good, and at times--downright cheesy--love story. But not to fret, folks. I saved the good one for you...
Imagine that skiing is your religion. Instead of a church, you have the mountains, and you say your prayers at the top of a snowy peak.
You live for the lightening speed and familiar swish your skis make as they shred through the snow. In fact, your antics are so extreme and sometimes even careless that the competitive circuit has pegged your team the Crazy Canucks. Damn straight!
Not only have you received praise for your daring technique, but for also changing the face of the sport. During a time of European downhill dominance, your team has helped put Canada on the world skiing map.
And even when you're a world-class skier, bailing is inevitable. Unfortunately, the faster you go, the harder you fall. God knows you've had your share of nasty wipe-outs and concussions but somehow you always bounce back. Like they say in all the other extreme sports, go big or go home...
Sadly, all of Dave Irwin's previous crashes would pale in comparison to his last. On March 23, 2001, he would take the most monumental bail of his life. This is one accident Irwin would not just bounce back from.
After the crash, he went into a coma. Nobody knew if he was going to live or die.
Three days later, he awoke to a bunch of unfamiliar faces. He didn't recognize his siblings, his fiance, or even his children. He couldn't walk or talk so it was safe to say that he probably wouldn't ski again. Apparenly, Irwin had suffered permanent brain injury with little chance of recovery.
Lynne Harrison didn't want to believe this grim fate. She was Irwin's fiance. But let's be realistic here. They had been dating for less than a year and the couple had just moved in together. It didn't take a genius to figure out the chances of these two actually staying together following Irwin's accident. Slim would probably be a fair assessment.
However, Harrison spent the next six years nursing her lover back to health. Even though he didn't have any recollection of her, their home, or even their life together, she didn't give up on his recovery. She became his caregiver, companion, teacher, and friend. She really believed that all of the unconditional love and heartbreak would eventually pay off.
And she was right.
While Irwin will forever be a changed man, he can now walk, talk, and even hit the slopes. He doesn't remember much of his life prior to the accident but his new life is just as full. In fact, Irwin and Harrison even started the Dave Irwin Foundation for Brain Injury which is an advocacy group that helps educate the public, while providing support for those living with brain injuries.
Sigh...don't you just love happy endings? (I'm probably making a bunch of you gag as we speak!)
Don't worry, I'll make sure to balance things out with a really depressing post tomorrow...he he!