A Special Thank You

I must thank my family for coming to my bedside in just hours from Houston to Quincy. My sister, Maura, has been a tremendous support, one which I would not trade for any in the world. She pulled everything together instantly during the crisis. Although she is not a skydiver, she immersed herself into the skydiving culture at Quincy and spoke with many people and USPA officials trying to figure out what happened. I love my sister.

I also love my mother very much, Audrey Sutton, and father, Jerry Vederman, who came to my side during the crisis.  This has been a difficult period for the entire family, they have composed themselves very well and have dealt with this blow as best they can.

Speaking of love. My dear friends Glenn and Tammy Payne drove to Quincy from Houston to be with me. I'm certain that I gained alot of strength having them with me. They brought pictures of me, which, it happened, the surgeons wanted. They didn't think twice about taking work off to come up. I told Glenn they needed to go to the convention this year; I found a way to get them there. They are beautiful..

Speaking of which, the most incredible display of compassion I have ever witnessed came from the most unsuspecting place of all, my best friend and business partner, Rabbitt (Scott Staib). Rabbitt, without hesitation volunteered to help take care of me after my release from the hospital. Not to just come and visit, no, we all moved into a two bedroom apartment and Rabbitt and his wife, Joy, assisted, unselfishly, with my daily needs, whether it be food, transportation or wound care. I know I would not have made it this quickly in my recovery without this help.

Glenda Bocanegra, my Best Friend helped organize a raffle and BBQ with Phil Chappel in my honor. She and my other wonderful skydiving family members helped raise nearly $4000 to assist with my medical expenses. I love my skydiving family.

My buddy and dear friend Brandy Littlejohn visited me often despite a busy schedule.

And certainly, I have the best employer I could have ever desired. Enron stood by my side and actually took an active role to ensure all my medical needs were taken care of. They even arranged the really cool Leer Jet ride I took back home to Houston. And, I still have a job, even though I am still recovering, and I even get a regular paycheck. Thank you Enron and thanks to my boss (now working somewhere else) Ed Bell and co-workers.

Damn, too many people to thank.

Shit, I wouldn't have believed anyone really gave a rat's ass about me. Damn it, I'm An Asshole! HUH!

- michael, 5.2.1998