If You Can Hold On...Hold On!
"...You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."-Steve Jobs
Life Is A Miracle
Life is a miracle...life is a mystery. Life is pain and sorrow, fear and anxiety, anger and shattering losses! But, life is also joy and laughter, pride of accomplishments, and glorious awe-inspiring moments!
In the song "All These Things That I've Done" by the Killers, the words say it all:
"When there's nowhere else to run Is there room for one more sun, One more sun If you can hold on If you can hold on, hold on"
He Should Have Died!
This brother of mine...he was rushed from one hospital to another. He wasn't breathing. A heart attack left him on the ground for who knows how long. The first call I received from my sister sounded ominous! "it's not good, Janie. They say it doesn't look good!"
I rush to the second hospital (he'e on his way via ambulance). I wait with his family...people I haven't seen in years, now all of a sudden brought together again in a little waiting room. Each of us holding on...waiting for him to arrive. Will he be breathing when he gets here?
Doors in the hallway burst open. We get there just in time to see a gurney rush by. Machines, tubes, blankets and so many people all surrounding what looked like my brother but it was hard to tell. Soon, someone comes to tell us that yes that was him but it doesn't look good. The machines are keeping his heart going...for now!
"Do You Want Us To Pull The Plugs?"
The news is all bad. "There is no eye movement which may mean that there is no brain activity. We don't know how long his brain was without oxygen." They would keep us posted. Hours go by. We have time to reconnect as a family.
We are all feeling anguish. He had not been happy. His life had not been easy. Is this a blessing? One daughter cries. "He's never held his grandson! He can't go yet!" We listen to music, share information about our lives, and wait. Each time someone comes in to give us an update, it's not good. They're doing everything they can but...
Then finally a doctor comes in and tells us that it appears that there is nothing more they can do and we need to make a decision. "Do you want us to pull the plugs?" We look at each other in horror! None of us want to make the call. Finally, we just say "Can we just go home, get some sleep, and come back in the morning?" It's already 12:30. Give us just a few more hours and we will be able to say good-bye.
Well, He Didn't Die!
The picture above, taken two years later, is my smiling, very alive, brother!
We went back the next morning to find the doctors all excitedly sharing news that his heart had started pumping on its own. They had then gone ahead with some other procedures, feeling more confident that he was going to survive.
Today, this brother shares stories of how he saw his life pass before his eyes. "Like cars of a train moving by my eyes." or "Flipping the pages of a book, really fast." and then it stops on one page... This is where he stops and his eyes tear up! The picture that it stops on is a picture of him and his brother, Dave, sitting high up in a tree looking through a Sears catalog. They were little boys wanting to buy a tent. And then he collects himself and continues on. He saw a light. He says that it was more like a torch. He couldn't see who was holding it.
And then he woke up!
We Held On And Now...
Well, I still like to describe him as grumpy and old but in fact he is a new man.
He hasn't had a drink in the past two years. Drinking had buried him, long ago, in a deep dark hole. He was basically alone and scared every day. No, it wasn't death that nearly took his life away. Death brought him back to life!
A nurse told him that there must be something that he needs to do in this life yet. "Most people don't survive that kind of heart attack." So, now he ponders what kept him alive, what this thing is that he is supposed to do. An angel (maybe his brother Dave) pushed him back into this world to finish something. i think I know what it is.
I think it was to hold that grandson, to go to his granddaughter's volleyball games, to become part of the lives of the rest of the family again. This brother of mine has a different, quiet and philosophical, look on life now. He is trying to reenter the world again. He's cautious and a little slow but he wants to live. And with love surrounding him, we are so glad that...
We held on...and he held on...for one more sun!
The Story of Dave
- Everlasting Tribute - "Listen For Me In the Wind"
Spiritual healing comes in many forms. Before my brother lost his battle with cancer, he said