Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bradley on a new adventure

Four years ago this February, 
a dear friend and school nurse, Monica
said goodbye to the son she knew.
After a tragic car accident on his way to work
at Thibodaux Regional, Bradley suffered a severe head injury
and never awakened to be the son she and her family once knew.
She and her husband, Steve along with her extended family did
what many of us could not even begin to think of.
They took him home in his semi-comatose state and
began the family altering task of caring for him.
Many of us wondered how? 
No one would have thought any less of them had they decided
to admit him into a long term care facility to help with his care.
Not these parents, not this family.
They took him home, not only cared for his basic necessities
but exercised him, nurtured him, brought him in his wheelchair
to every event he was able to attend, went to church.
All in the hopes that something would spark, and their
personal "sleeping beauty" would awaken after months,
even years and ask, "What the heck happened?'
He was known to have the same muscular build he had had
since playing football for ED White even after 4 years of 
being wheelchair and bed bound.
His mother, Monica was known to have said on many occasions
that Bradley would be very upset with her if he awakened
after 4 years of sleep to find that his body had not been
maintained in the way he always maintained it before.
This week Bradley passed away to the curious place
we call Heaven and will be buried on Monday.
I sit here outside today and I wonder why?
Why after 4 years of the extended illness was it time to 
die? I wonder about his parents, his brothers,
how long their days will be now that Bradley will not
be there to tend to. I am so very sad for their loss
yet, I have this sense of peace for them, that even though
they cannot see or feel it now, that will once again be
a family that can take vacations, go see a movie,
sit to read a book, able to sleep a whole night... I also sit here thinking that this lesson,
these 4 years were never about Bradley or Monica or Steve.
Not about his two younger brothers or any of the rest of the family.
I want to believe that their strength, their care was to teach others 
what true love, true unconditional love is. 
That not only did they never take the easy way out but went 
above and beyond what most of us would think we are capable of.
They have taught me that even through all of that, you can still smile
even if you don't feel like it. You can still think and speak positive,
still hope. Their 4 year ordeal is over but it will never end.
I and many others will continue to always think of the Story of Bradley
Hymel and remember what an honor it was to know and watch this
family. As I said, they have taught so many lessons, it is their turn to rest.
To be just like others who have lost a child, never the same but finding
peace at the end of a long journey.
The Big Man, he needed a "Big boy" in the big heaven...
Bradley was called and he went, his parents do not question, their 
faith being that that many of us should try and have.
Rest in Peace, Bradley, move and laugh, fish and play ball...
To the family, may God be with you all during this time 
of sadness and loss.


  1. So sad. Yes, Monica & Steve were the best parents anyone could ever ask for or hope to have. You can't help but wonder why they went through all of this. They are entitled to question why they had to lose their child. Bradley is in heaven and I pray for his family to have comfort and peace.

  2. May he rest in peace and God grant his parents tranquility.