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A father's story of love, fate and reconciliation
as seen in The Rocky Mountain News
November 14, 2003
Written by Patti Thorn, Books Editor

It's been nearly 20 years since University of Colorado tight end Eddie Reinhardt took a hit on the football field that sent him into a coma, fighting for his life.

Initially confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak, the star player has since endured years of therapy to overcome his injury.

It's the stuff of stories, to be sure.

But it's not Eddie who finally got around to writing it. Rather, his father, Coloradan Floyd Edward Reinhardt, has penned the story - as much about his own life as his son's accident.

Floyd Edward's book is titled You're OK Kid! The Search for a Father's Love (Littleton Publishing Company, $14.95). In it, he recounts his feelings the day of Eddie's injury, which occurred in Oregon, in Autzen Stadium, in 1984. Rushing to his son's bedside, he found himself unexpectedly confronting his past.

Years before, the author had testified against his own father in a divorce hearing - a proceeding that took place, ironically, about a mile from Autzen Stadium. At that time, Floyd Edward was 19, his father, 51. Strangely enough, at the time of Eddie's injury, Eddie was 19, Floyd Edward was 51.

To make matters even more coincidental, Floyd Edward had been contemplating divorce from Eddie's mother when his son was hurt.

"Talk about fate and destiny," Floyd Edward once said. "That had meaning for me."

He began to rethink his life and his commitment to his family.

Floyd Edward and his wife have since reconciled, and Floyd Edward also eventually reconnected with his own father.

As you might guess, his book is about family, faith and the importance of fathers.

No doubt it's also about the haphazard way we come to life's epiphanies. As the author learned in the most unwelcome way that September day: A terrible blow can lay you low. But occasionally - if you're very lucky - it can also bring you to your senses.

Patti Thorn
Books Editor
The Rocky Mountain News

 

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Ed and Eddie in 1998
Photo: Rocky Mountain News © 1998
Eddie Reinhardt and his father Floyd Edward Reinhardt, depicted in a photo taken in 1985, one year after a football injury sent Eddie into a coma at age 19.