How do you exert a huge amount of change into your life?
Die twice in one day.
Something like that almost guarantees that you will be pushed one way or the other to see a huge and radical change in your life, or make one.
After that happens, you may feel like you notice how your life is full of choices; or perhaps you might feel like you have no choice at all in your own destiny. That the universe is holding your life by a small thread. You may find some kind of joy or peace that you have never had before or at least lead you to a place to look for it.
‘Three years ago on a hot July day, I fell in our backyard.
I have been known to say, about that day, that “Jesus pushed me”.
You know the song. “Jesus take the wheel”? Yeah, a little bit like that. He didn’t push me out malice or like you get pushed by the little kid that likes you in the second grade. He literally (well maybe not literally) pushed me so I could get my life back.
My heart had stopped, the world went black. I could hear Christa hysterically screaming in the distance. I came back around; not quite understanding why she was absolutely losing her shit.
The ambulance came.
At the hospital, as they x-rayed my ankle (from the fall it was the size of a gorgeous grapefruit but the color of a ripe grape …I look to my right and said to Christa, “It’s happening again”.
For what seemed an eternity.
I could hear the nurses screaming for the doctor.
I could hear Christa pleading to find out what was happening.
I could hear the words crash cart.
The whole time, I FELT like I was saying—I don’t need that, what is going on, I’m fine.
All I remember at that moment was darkness. Nothing. No light that I was going towards. No vision of me hovering over my heartbeat-less body.
But my voice was loud and clear inside my head…
It’s so frustrating trying to voicelessly tell hospital staff not to jolt your body with electricity to revive you when you are obviously perfectly fine.
My heart had stopped, again.
Right before they hit my chest with the paddles I opened my eyes.
I’m not really sure what occurred over the next few days that followed.
Multiple doctors, a couple of different hospital rooms, another ambulance ride, put me right to where I was supposed to be preparing for a surgery to insert a pacemaker into my 39 year old chest.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was NOT down with this.
I did NOT want a metal anything in my body controlling my heart. For someone who had been trying to take all the “bad stuff” out of their body for years, to be as all-natural as possible; it seemed incomprehensible for me to give the go ahead to put a machine in my body that would tell my heart what to do.
I was afraid.
I was afraid of the metal box.
I was afraid of the terrified look on my wife’s face.
I was afraid of blackness.
I was afraid of the feeling of burning death pulling at my toes and creeping up to the rest of my body. (And I swear that is the only was to describe the physicality of what I was feeling)
I was afraid to be half of who I was, which is exactly what I thought would happen.
It is sobering to have to make the decision to give up what you think is a part of your identity to be able to drive my car and to be able to be alone without supervision.
I could hurt myself or someone else.
There really was no choice.
On July 16, I had two wires placed into my heart and a small box inserted into my chest.
Before the surgery, my friend and reiki-ist Heidi came to see me and Christa to clear the energy in the room to prepare me for what was to come. She told us there was a male presence in the room. He was sitting with his one leg propped up on his knee and he told Heidi that everything would be cool, I shouldn’t worry.
My brother had come to me a lot since he passed away two years prior, but no one else had ever confirmed this until that day. He was there. We came to find out later he probably saved my life.
Bear in mind that I never had any previous episodes pertaining to my heart, or so we thought. But upon further reflection we came up with some chilling revelations that add a different layer to this story.
I had been an avid yogi for 3 years. Classes about 4 times a week. A little while after my brother passed away, I began to see him during my meditation. I don’t mean just see him as in a dream, but see him vividly, like he was right there. He was always with my little dog Dougey, who we had to put down. They would be so real, I would leave my class my emotions completely heightened and broken down with tears.
It was so intense. I stopped going to yoga.
Another instance occurred late one night when i was driving home from a catering that I was working. It was 2 AM and I had worked since about 7 AM the previous morning. To say the least my body was exhausted and sitting down even if it was to drive 45 minutes to home felt like I was sitting in a massage chair at a spa. The road was dark; I knew it by heart. Winding. Black with blankets of trees along the road. My high beams hit something that jerked me out of my relaxation and into deep hysterics. A man walking along the side of the empty road in a red hoodie, with the neckline ripped, baseball cap with curly blonde hair peaking out the back. My light hit his face. It was my brother.
Sometimes you can’t see the entirely of a plan set in motion until the end chapter.
Sometimes there are things that happen that we don’t understand.
Sometimes we lose the things that we love the very most.
Sometimes those things that we lose are put into place to save us later.
All those times when I felt a drop in my heart rate from a condition that I didn’t know that I had, something jolted me to bring my heart rate back up.
Something. Someone…Saved me each time.
Whether you believe in things like this or not doesn’t matter.
What matters is these moments did a lot for my heart and for my “heart”.
My heart was so broken physically and figuratively, and I won’t say that I walked away a changed person from this because this little box has made me feel sad, it made me scared, the pacemaker at first made me very angry.
I felt helpless, broken, useless and weak.
But it did put me down a path that 3 years later I’m ready to tell the whole story. That I didn’t bounce back. That I’m still dealing with it. That I’m still sorting out my feelings over it.
Last night, I fell asleep thinking about that day, and how I’m not 100 percent sure how you deal with how it feels to have your heart stop.
But if that doesn’t make you see a whole lot of L-I-F-E in your life; I don’t know what will.
It’s taken time to see myself as who I was when it happened, as it happened and after it happened. I don’t think I woke up the next day and said, oh my goodness….the world is just beautiful….because I didn’t.
I tried to make the pacemaker be my story, because I thought it should be….what a champ, what a survivor.
But it turns out the pacemaker is just a box…it’s not my story.
I started going to yoga again….a long time after my surgery, but I did go back.
I didn’t see my little dog.
My brother wasn’t there.
I can still see him in the distance.
But I feel him right here.
In my heart.