Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

A Belated Thank You


I've been back in the US for over a year, now, and it's time to correct a wrong I left unattended for most of that time. It's embarrassing.

I've had the life-long propensity to get myself into desperate situations, then scream to others, begging for help. But with a willing family and good friends who always pulled me out of the mire, life continued so I could do it again.

The experience I suffered in Brazil left me emotionally and intellectually catatonic. I gave up on everything, including myself. From being a "loner," I became a recluse, and probably will stay that way.

I created the situation myself, and contributed all I could to make things as complicated as possible before I called for help. I'm inept at living, I think, but friends and family got me out of that insane hospital in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso.

My first week in the hospital is just a mosaic of weird memories, and I don't even know how the people here came to know about my situation. Everyone responded with more effort than I deserved.

My sister organized the bureaucratic and physical ends of the retrieval, and a close friend set up a Go Fund Me effort on Facebook

I want to speak to the people who contributed financially to my escape.

It's been over a year, and I have yet to offer a single word of gratitude to any of you. My sister told me about the financial help when we were on the trip back, but I had never heard of Go Fund Me, and promptly forgot the conversation.

I was done with both the hospital and rehab in Missoula before I asked about the financial help. They explained how Go Fund Me worked, and who organized it.

I felt like a pig. It had been two months since the generosity other people had saved my scurvy life, and I hadn't acknowledged it to any of them.

And, coward that I've proven to be, I decided to ignore it, hoping that everyone would assume that I wasn't an ignorant swine for forgetting them. It's easy for me to admit that I was simply too afraid and too ashamed. I've even had face-to-face encounters with a couple of the donors but was too spineless to beg forgiveness and express my thanks.

The experience in Brazil broke an egg in me. It started when the fellow who owned the bar and restaurant emptied two of my credit cards along with my debit card.

It was more troubling because he convinced me that Beré, a senhora I worked with, and with whom I enjoyed a very close friendship, was the thief. I was in the hospital before I heard the truth.

I'm sure that if I had died in Brazil, Maycon, the fellow who robbed me, would have buried me in the jungle without communicating my death to my family. He would have been able to use my debit card for years because, fool that I am, gave him my pin so he could use the card in an emergency.

So, I'm using this medium to express an old man's gratitude to all of you. I'm not an ungrateful wretch, I'm a grateful coward.

Thank you, and more.

I have a list of your names, but not your phone numbers. I want to talk to each of you and beg forgiveness one more time. Could you email your phone number to me? ([email protected]) or Facebook's Messenger are both safe, I think. But if you'd rather not, email me, and I'll send you my phone number.

The chagrin of my inaction toward you donors is more than what I suffered when I was being bathed and diapered by a woman whose name I wasn't sure of.

My actions, or lack of, belie my thoughts. I am extremely grateful and am also sure that my friends are high-quality people, patient with fools.


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