A lonely traveler moving silently through the narrow passages looking for a resting place. The journey has been long and has taken years to complete. The final phase of the journey passed through small chambers that slowed it down but did not stop its progress. Finally coming to rest in a large pulsing quadrant where it blocked the flow of essential life functions. This parasite weakened its host rendering it functionless. The hosts movements were restricted by the loss of essential nutrients needed to function.
The host lost consciousness before help arrived. But the parasite continued to drain the life out of the host rendering it unable to answer questions or regain consciousness for more than a few precious seconds at a time. The host knew that this was it. He was on deaths door as everything grew black and life started to slip away.
I woke up a few hours later to a bevy of nurses, doctors and a crying daughter looking down at me. All sorts of machines and tubes attached to my body. Oxygen being forced into my lungs through a mask that could have been borrowed from NASA.
That was a year ago. The day a blood clot traveled from my left leg, through my heart and settled itself into my lung cutting off my oxygen supply.
The paramedics said that I some how managed to call 911 and walk to the door and unlock it so they could get in to help me. I do not remember doing any of that.
I am very lucky to be around after that episode. Had I not been able to call 911; I would have died unconscious and alone.
I have always had this fear of dying alone. Well truthfully the alone part is not what bothers me. It's the not being discovered for days part that scares the crap out of me. I know that for me it would not matter as I would be dead and would have no feelings one way or the other. But for those that I would leave behind the thought of dear old dad dead in his recliner for an extended period would be hard on them.
There are so many times when I should have died during my lifetime. The military and my stupid acts of random insanity certainly afforded me ample opportunity but I was never alone. But those times were different. Death would have been fairly quick leaving little time to ponder it. Last year I laid there with time to think about what was happening to me. I had time to let thoughts about my children run through my mind. I vaguely remember tears as those thoughts engulfed me.
I also remember, as I lost consciousness, acceptance. I think I had actually let myself go.
Yet here I sit a year latter in better shape than a year ago albeit through a crap load of medications. I feel good but most of all I feel lucky. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to have a roof over my head and food on my table.
Lucky that God has given me more time to try and make up for my life's failures. More time with my children who in the scheme of things are my greatest accomplishments.
There is not much I can not handle these days. Kiddies enjoy what you have and be grateful for it. Enjoy your families and friends to the fullest. Every day is precious so use each day wisely.
Make sure that you make those around you smile every day. Especially on your last day. That way you can carry that smile to heaven with you.
When old Saint Peter asks, "Why are you smiling?', you will be able to tell him how great your life was.