Monday, August 30, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Just when you think life is clicking along just fine, something or someone can change everything, in just the blink of an eye.

That something for me was a phone call received on August 30, 2008. It was the call every parent dreads.

A detective with the New York City Police Department was on the other end of the line, telling me our precious daughter's body had been found on the ground outside her apartment building. The way he said it, I had no clue whether she was dead or alive. I had to ask.

Most of you reading this know the story. If you don't, check it out at

So today is the second anniversary of Nicole's accident. Someone asked me just this morning if we ever thought she would have come this far in two years.

The truth of the matter is that I didn't think about that. I learned very early on, sitting in the neuro-ICU at New York Presbyterian Hosptial, not to project into the future. We had to accept what was happening right here, right now. I learned to live in the moment, because that's all we had. Her condition was changing so rapidly...she'd do great for awhile, then some horrible thing would go wrong in her broken body. We all became pros are reading monitors. We understood oxygen levels and all kinds of things I never thought I'd have a need to know.

And I learned to compartmentalize. In other words, mundane things like bills, the dog, the yard, etc. never entered my mind. I was focused on one thing and one thing only. Thank God we had such good friends and family who took care of those things and so many others so that we could just be, with all our focus on Nicole.

And here we are, two years later. And yes, looking back, I'm absolutely in awe of what Nicole has accomplished after injuring her body so badly.

A journey begins with one step, and we have truley taken this journey one step at a time, one day at a time. And because of that, the journey hasn't been too hard. And because the journey has been a slow, but steady one, we've all had time to see, hear, smell, taste and feel things we may never have experienced before, when we were all rushing and swirling through life.

We've made wonderful new friends, reconnected with old ones, and our life has been blessed many times over. Priorites have shifted, with a focus now on more important things in life. We've seen the affect Nicole's accident has had on Joe, who is now very focused in school, studying to be an occupational therapist.

If I could, I'd take it back in a heartbeat. Who would want this to happen to their child? Yet, it happened, and we can't take it back, so we all chose to accept what is, and to push on. Nicole, as it turns out, is a master at that. We have simply followed her lead.

And we are all the better for it.

Thank you doesn't begin to express our appreciation for the many prayers, financial gifts, support and love so many people have given us. We are forever grateful, and have dedicated our lives to paying it forward.

Just remember, one day, you can be on top of the world...
(This is Nicole on the same roof from which she fell, two days before her accident. The grayish building in the background is Harlem Hospital, her first stop on the road to recovery.)

And the next day, you can have the weight of the world on your shoulders.
(Nicole, a few days after her accident, in New York Presbyterian Hospital.)

It's up to you to decide if you want to get back up to the top of the world again, and how. The next time life throws you a curveball, just remember Nicole...if she can do it, you can too!
(Nicole and Joe, close to one year after her accident.)

Blessings to all who read this!


  1. I cannot believe it has been two years, yet, it seems a lifetime ago. Blessings to all of the Marquez family. Continue to strive for the top ! Love to all, Nancy

  2. Hard to believe it's been two really is amazing...Nicole's ability to fight back against all odds! And, indirectly, it brought you and me, I consider you one of my closest friends... Amazing how life works, huh?

  3. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd