Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Vashon author has inspirational story

Vashon author David Cole was a freshman in college, bicycling down a canyon road headed for dinner at his dorm, when a Volvo driver coming uphill decided to pass a slower car. He crossed double yellow lines and smashed into David and his bike head-on.

There may be other survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in our community, and for sure one of our cherished young Vashon men, Daniel Haag, has spent the past six months hospitalized after a TBI in May, so I read David Cole’s book, “The Iliad of an Odd D.C.,” with interest, to better understand what TBI survivors face. It explained perfectly why he feels he died, and then began building a whole new life out of pieces of the old, determined to develop skills and independence to support himself and his family.

David’s book slides into an established and wonderful genre of Vashon author memoirs about coping with health crises. In Steve Reed’s “Pebbling the Walk,” Kit Morrison’s “Handirhap” and Janie Starr’s “Bone Marrow Boogie,” I also encountered vivid personalities shining through the descriptions of struggle. I see how much humor has helped, and how much the love and kindness of others has encouraged them. Every person they (we) encounter can fill a moment with random grace and friendliness. It can change us for the better to know them.

I hope many Islanders will take the opportunity to meet David Cole at his reading at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. He has an infectious sense of humor and great personal strengths. It is inspirational to see an Islander who succeeds day by day at living well, despite adversity.

— Rayna Holtz

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