Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Posthumous Existence

I died once. And I think about that death from time to time, as it is a constant reminder of where I have come from and a little motivation to keep going towards where I want to be. When I was child, I had a seizure. It was like a day like any other day. I was sitting on the couch in our living room while waiting for my mom to take me to school. I don’t have any direct memory of what occurred next, but what was described to me was a horrific sight that would haunt any parent. My eyes shot back as I froze and began to urinate on myself. In a panic, my mother called the ambulance. They tell me I went into cardiac arrest three times. Three times, my heart stopped beating as I was on the brink of inexistence. Though I don’t directly recall the preceding events that led me to the hospital, I recall very vividly the thoughts and visions of my very active mind, fighting for a spot back into the world, for another chance to be a contender. I don’t know about the thoughts of others who claim to have had near death experiences. I don’t know anything about “going into the light,” but I do recall an out of body experience.

It felt as if all the memories and the life I had led up to that point was not my own. I remember looking back on my life as a third party observer. This was disorienting and confusing, and I didn’t fully understand then what was happening. My parents would later tell me that I would have moments where I would ask “Is the little boy ok…the little boy they took to the hospital, is he ok”? Apparently, once I was stabilized, I had short moments of consciousness. I don’t remember those, but perhaps, as evidenced by the sporadic phrases, my mental thoughts manifested themselves in brief verbal outbursts. I don’t recall those, however, I recall the events leading up to the moment where I regained complete consciousness.

I describe it as follows: Imagine you were at the deep end of a body of water trying to swim your way back to the top for air. That was the feeling I had before fully woke up. It was as if I had come up for air after nearly drowning. And there I was in a dark hospital room, awake and a bit disoriented. My legs had atrophied so I was unable to feel my legs, and I was connected to an IV machine. It was like a second birth. I was attached to life support, unable to walk, and trying to take in the strange surroundings. The doctors had told my parents that I may have learning disabilities or that something may not be quite right with my further development. I guess they were wrong, and God had other things in mind.

It is my brush with death that drives my strong belief in God. There are too many things that are beyond human comprehension. Man kills, man is greedy, and man corrupts. My belief in a greater love, a greater hope, and a separate peace empowers me with the resolve I need to get through this life that can be very difficult. I don’t know ultimately what I am supposed to do with the rest of the time I may have left. But I have chosen to live my life respecting the fact that every breath I take is a blessing and each day I see is a tribute, triumph, and a testament to God’s greater plan.

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