For full effect, download "First Day Of My Life" by Bright Eyes and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
Five years people. That sometimes seems too good to be true, I must say. Five years since I totaled an ex-girlfriend's Nissan Altima on the side of the road. Five years since I laid on the bottom of Baker reservoir for four and a half minutes. Five years since I walked to the podium of a collegiate graduation and lifted 1,500 diplomas in an unconscious frenzy while a Utah State Congressman thought I was possessed by Harry Reid. Five years since a chewed up tongue, a dented fender, a pair of shorts soaked in pee, a broken shoulder, a torn suit, a bad date, a face full of pasta, a shattered laptop, and a mouth full of drool.
Five years since an extension cord was unplugged from the left side of my head. And I have never been more happy.
For the record, if you haven't been keeping track of my life, which by the way and I say this in all seriousness, I don't blame you seeing as how you are much more important in the grand scheme of things than I am, it's been five years since a witch doctor holding a scalpel decided to slice a giant question mark into the left side of my head and take out the part of my brain that was corrupt, that was damaged. Five years since a man decided to remove the piece of my life that was the instigator for so many late night stories about that one time when Brock Bybee had a seizure.
Jake Schroeder: "So we're in the middle of the game and all of a sudden, you take off in a dead run, and I mean a full on sprint across the gym and you run headfirst into the glass window of the intramural office. And then you dusted yourself off and went back to playing 3-on-3. I never saw anything more funny."
Logan Bentley: "Dixon Downs was towing your truck and you turned the wheel and sideswiped two girls' vehicles in front of Evans Hairstyling College and crashed into a fire hydrant across the street. Why the heck couldn't you have hit my sister's car instead? She could have made money on a totaled vehicle!"
Eric Young: "I remember at graduation you started running down the sidewalk while everyone else was walking past us, and I started running after you in my robe. I had a dozen paces on you, but you split like a track star. Talk about a run for my money. I have to say that I did pretty good for a fat man in a Master's robe to catch you."
Jason Fotheringham: "That one where you took your pants off in my car and I kept telling you to put your head down."
D.J. Schmutz: "It was at the stake center in La Verkin. We were all there to see Elder Richard G. Scott speak and when I walked into the gym looking for seats I see this really big guy in the front just freaking out and knocking over chairs and everything. I didn't know what was going on until some people just said, 'Oh, that's Brock Bybee, he has seizures for attention.'"
Funny how everyone has their own memory of when I lost control of both active brain function and occasionally my bowels and did something stupid. Probably all of you reading this are leaning back in your chairs, turning your heads slightly to the left and reminiscing about that one time when I face planted into a parking lot, or walked on to a basketball court mid warm-up and was almost assessed a technical foul for disorderly conduct, or peed my pants in art class on the day before Homecoming my Senior Year.
But all of those memories are fading fast. Fading because I haven't been able to conjure up any new stories that keep you shaking your head, wrestling me to a chokehold, and repeating the phrase to the general public, "Sorry, sorry, this kid has seizures. Just give him a few minutes and he'll be back to normal." The times when I was stereotyped as seizure man are a thing of the past. They are flashbacks continuing to collect layers of dust because five years ago a doctor knew exactly what part of my brain he wanted to slice up and remove. Those memories are gone because that part of my life was shut down.
Some things will never change over the course of time. You will forever have those stories of when I lost consciousness and caused a giant catastrophe at church, or on a date, or playing football. I will forever be a drug addict and have second thoughts about driving a vehicle if I get less than four hours sleep the previous night. But those are just habits, mannerisms that define who we are. Life will go on in the years to come, things will change, new nostalgia will be forged, and the character I played for the majority of my life may one day be lost and forgotten. However, I will never forget the moment five years ago when I became a new person, when I abandoned my brain injury, when I was finally unplugged.
I will never forget when I realized that seizure man was dead.