An Extra Hand

I thought I would include a page that did not distract from the flow of the day to day journal of this journey.  Here I will include thoughts, comments and anything that I think may be important to let everybody in on.  Thanks for all the feedback and support.  You guys have been great!  Here is something a little extra.

Here is a comment that I received from my parents.  I love you Mom and Dad – you guys are incredible.  I owe so much to you that I will never be able to repay.  Thanks for your years of support in my life.  I am truly blessed to have you as my parents.

Receieved on 2-21-09

We Love you son with or without the i-limb. 39 and almost 40 years ago we started the journey together. It has been a wonderful journey. You have brought so much joy and laughter into our lives. We are excited about your i-limb journey. We are with you every step of the way. Long before Nike ever came up with the slogan our slogan was Just Do It! We knew you could do what ever you wanted to do. In the good times and in the tough times, God has been with you.We love you and believe in you. We thank God for
Darin and the road we have walked together. Your precious wife and family are with you on this new journey and we are right behind all of you praying and cheering you on. We Believe you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Much Love,
Mom and Dad


Now that you are finished crying, here is another one that tore me up.  There is one thing through this process that has amazed me and that is the words of friends and supporters.  I have been moved to tears many times and am so thankful that God has given me such amazing friends.



Our meeting was inevitable yet unremarkable. 

You were out on the concrete basketball court doing your thing, It was a hugely contested match on a lilliputian college campus and you were weaving in and out of traffic so smoothly a taxi cab driver would have shed a tear. I mean you were rebounding emphatically, shooting smoothly and the hacks who were on the floor couldn’t keep up. I remember thinking “They are underestimating that guy” 

Not sure how the intro’s got started, but before that afternoon was over we realized we had few things incommon, we both hailed from the pacific northwest and we were both broke and unemployed. Thats when you suggested we use your wheels the next day to reel in a couple of jobs. 

I didn’t think anything of it, until the next day when we got to the parking lot and there was your car. A blue Volkswagen Bug. Nice car. Miss that car. The problem was it was a stick shift! I told myself to “play it cool, really it is no big deal.” 
Then we roared out of the parking lot. I was doing fine until we came to a road that 
had so many curves it would make Angelina Jolie look like a stick figure, but there you were laughing, speeding, steering and shifting! I was sh- shh- shaking! 

Obviously we survived and we laugh about that now. Soon we scored our first college jobs, you were working at Sears lifting boxes above your head, shoving crates around, stacking the stock room and I was selling shoes. 

We weren’t roomies that first year, but best of friends none the less. We played hoops, softball , you played first and swung a mean bat.We preached and prayed. Led the freshman class.

I taught you how to tie your tie that year. I remember the day you tied your own for the first time. You were estatic, I was unimpressed. 

Tie your shoes, now that would be impressive. 

You took up golf a couple years later, it is my fault and I gladly copped to it. We have had many a great time playing and you were hooked instantly. All things considered you are pretty good. You boom drives and if I remember correctly you actually beat me the last time we played nine holes. I don’t know memory …..fading!

Where was I ? Oh yeah. 




After college we stayed incredible friends, we were in one another’s wedding. I admit my actions on your wedding video still haunt me to this day and I hope for posterity sake you can tell your kids uncle Kev had just tad too much cake and Dr. Pepper. 

 We have been friends for more than half our lives. You are one of only three people in the world who can tell me to shut up, quit being stupid and I still feel loved. Thanks.

We have been friends in the good, the bad and even when my hair was ugly. Think George Harrison 1965. 

When my life was falling apart around me, my dreams and marriage were in full blaze like the So Cal wildfires that just about consumed your home, you hopped on a plane just to put your arm around me and pray. 

Thanks. Thanks a bunch. 

What got me all mushy and ooozing with sentimentality?

Yesterday. Yesterday after we got done talking for less then two minutes on the phone.

Yesterday was the day you probably have been wondering about since the day you could wonder. 

Yesterday you got yourself ………… a LEFT ARM.

An “I – Limb” to be precise. A modern marvel and dare I say the miracle that you know who prayed for. 

“Grow arm! Grow!” 



You informed me in our brief conversation it was an emotional morning, and I am sure those of us on the outside just won’t quite get it. 

What I am also sure of is you will blog about it. I am sure you will do what you do best, you will make us feel comfortable about your new appendage the same way you made us feel comfortable about your absent one. You will make us laugh.

You will set out on this journey and prove to us that you can do anything. Here’s the catch…. we won’t be surprised or amazed, because we know YOU CAN. 

Someone actually asked me last year if I knew anyone disabled or if I was personally familar with their struggle. I was quick to think of one name. I struggled for a second and a third , it was impossible to name a fourth. 

Guess what? it wasn’t until I was in my car …….. a WEEK later that I thought of your name. My daughter gave me the weird eye as I suddenly laughed out loud and said rather loudly “NO WAY!” 

Never thought of you that way. Never will. 

You have overcome every mountain thus far and I have no doubt you will summit each one in the horizon. 

You have been a source of courage to me through the years and your arm (or lack thereof) had little to do with it. I know you, your heart and believe in you. Truth is I have been thinking about writing a blog, column, a nonsensical tirade for years. But up until yesterday I didn’t have the courage or inspiration to just sit down and do it. You, your friendship and example inspired me. 

Thanks for the hand. 


P.S. — I am Ok with the Bionic hand. I am even ok with constantly hearing NAHNNNNAA NAHNNNAH the entire time it is in use, but if it helps you hit 400 yard drives I will be ticked, possibly even reaching for a hacksaw….. because the next time we play golf I going to beat your non bionic backside.




Simply being witness to the joy, bewilderment, amazement and adventure that this technological miracle has brought into your life is at once humbling and humorous.

This may sound weird coming from your student, pupil, subordinate, employee… but I am so proud of you. I’m proud to know you. Proud to serve you. Proud to share in this adventure with you.

You deserve this.

As far as you got single handedly, it’s only a matter of time before you conquer the world, end hunger, cure cancer, out-drive Tiger Woods, dunk on Kobe, become president, swim across the Pacific, climb K2 & Everest in the same day…

Love ya man.

David McGovern

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