"Don't let today's disappointments cast a
shadow on tomorrow's dreams." -Unknown
After my first experience with my aorta I
was struck by how blue I was.....How easily
I wept over things...however small they might
have seemed to me before it all happened....
I remember the first ride I had in a transport
vehicle to rehab....It was a dreary gray day
anyway, and I was experiencing things like
this for the first time. The driver took a turn
in the opposite direction from the hospital and
I asked him where he was going....only to tell
me that he had someone else to pick up on the
way....an elderly woman as well....
I started to get all choked up, and realized I
was seeing my lot was now cast among the
elderly and the infirm, I was in a medical
transport vehicle in a world that I thought I
would never be in, at least for another 20+
years or so! I remember watching that vehicle go by
when I was healthy and sort of sub-thinking..."Oh...
those people in that bus....Thats a world far from me !"
Little did I know.....
That happened to me a lot....Everytime I got bad news
about my health, tears would well up in my eyes, and I
would not know exactly what I was thinking, but this natural
"awareness" of what I was going through would strike deep
in my soul....
I asked about my apparent depression, and I was told that it
was a normal occurance for heart patients, especially men,
and I should consider counseling.....Gosh! More depressing news...
I was needing to rehash all this depressing "stuff" about my
experiences with a "neutral" stranger....only to wonder what
good it would do really.....
I just couldnt imagine that my life was going to go down this road
of filling out forms, becoming dependent on the powers that be,
sitting around all day every day with no choice as to where I was
going to go that day....taking meds daily to maintain my fragile health,
just completely worried about what the future held for me....
I realized the crux of the issue, was that I had always felt like I was
going to live forever...you know,....you're going along in life in reasonable
health....no real problems...you got a lot of plans for the future, and
no reason to think that anything would end it till you were good and ready
to cash it in, like when you were in your 90's or so!
When I was a boy, my nickname was Skipper, evryone called me Skip.
He is my "Inner Child", and his heart was broken! He could now plainly
see the door every day, right there in front of him....that death was as
real and likely as it ever could be.....and he really had a stark realization
that that third aneurysm could burst at any time, or he could have that
final stroke that would kill him or put him on a hospital bed for the rest
of his tube and machine filled life....
Ive been told many times that I was "...Lucky to be alive".....and that
God wasn't done with me, or that the Devil didn't want me yet...or that
I was in the top 5% of people that survive through what I went through...
that I was living on borrowed time....
You know, I can say we all are living on borrowed time, it's just that
I'm more keenly aware of it than people who haven't teetered and tottered
over the cliff of Eternity...We truly are mortal, finite beings....and no matter
what we plan or think day by day.....it could all be over in a very real
and quick instant!
There's a song by Henry Rollins of "Black Flag" fame called "Shine"....
I remember hearing it before my heart event and being struck by how
positive it was..and yes, even being brought to tears over its powerful
message as I remembered it again....Here is a portion:
If you think you've got 100 extra years to mess around you're wrong
This time is real. your time is now. it's hero time.
Hard times are getting harder
The liars are acting strong
You better get a grip on yourself
Or you won't be around too long
No such thing as spare time
No such thing as free time
No such thing as down time
All you got is life time GO!
No time for drug addiction
No time for smoke and booze
Too strong for a shortened life span
I've got no time to lose
It's time to align your body with your mind
It's hero time
It's time to align your body with your mind
It's time to shine
from "Shine" by Henry Rollins
I know that I can think that I have to take care of myself and
not do anything that fulfills or challenges me, and I do at first...
but I realize full well that I have the same inertia and ambition
battles I had before my heart event....and that it really is up
to me what I do with my Precious Lifetime here on Earth!
If I'm a heart patient I still have the use of my hands and feet,
my brain and my talents, I still can play in a band and draw with
pastels, I still can Love my Fellow Man and seek to help and aid
those that are less fortunate than I am...and there are plenty....
"The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment
to moment." -Pema Chodron
"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a
wonderful stroke of luck." -Dalai Lama
"Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to
live with insecurity is the only security." -John Allen Paulos
I am certainly going to clear my heart with those that I Love around
me before I die....I am certainly going to cherish every single second
and breathe that I take, and no matter what happens to me I know
that I can make lemonade out of lemons, and fight for the very last drop
of opportunity that Life Gives Me To "Shine"
Stephen "Skip" Stavropoulos
Nov 30, 2010