When I was 12 years old I had surgery to correct a problem with my right hip. Three three-inch pins were put into my femur to hold the ball and socket joint in place. My cautious doctor insisted I stay in a wheelchair for three months after the procedure to heal properly and avoid any potential accident crutches might lead to.
One night my father decides to take me to Jones Beach on Long Island to wheel around the boardwalk and breathe some fresh ocean air (it was still fresh back then). We stop to stare out at the waves. After a few moments of soothing quiet my father turns to me and says, “Brian, the doctor told your mother and I something while you weren’t in the room. He told us you’re never going to get out of that wheelchair.” My stunned and frozen stare was quickly broken by his hysterical laughter. “Did you believe me?” he said. This was my father’s idea of a good joke. It wasn’t the first or the last.