This We Believe

Separated by Differences, United by Beliefs

When Death Seemed Close

on February 24, 2014

News of tumors and heart attacks is unpleasant to hear. No child ever wants to see their parents get sick.  No parent ever wants to see their child in serious danger.  Over the span of a month, both of these things happened to my family.

During October of my senior year of high school, I got news from my mom that my dad was very sick. He was playing basketball the night before, nothing out of the ordinary, when he began feeling faint, and his heart was beating uncontrollably. My mom freaked out and she drove him to the local hospital where they discovered he was having a minor heart attack. He was only 38 years old.

Two weeks later, I went into the doctor’s office to get my updated physical for the basketball season. Everything was normal until the physician began listening to my heart. She told me I had a heart murmur, and it was unusual because I didn’t have a murmur two years before. After a couple of further tests, I was told I had a tumor in my heart on one of the valves. Thankfully it was a benign tumor, but I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the basketball season that year, or in any intense physical activity for that matter. This news crushed me.

For those few weeks, upon getting the news of my dad’s heart attack, and my own tumor, death seemed so close to me.  I began to think about how I would live if my dad died, or if I was given a limited amount of time to live. I started to care more about certain things that I didn’t pay much mind to before. I cared more about family, friends, and any relationships I was fortunate to have, and less about TV, video games, and any other pastimes. Why would I want to pass the time? Time seemed so precious to me.

All my fear, bitterness, and hate was gone. I didn’t feel like it mattered anymore. What did any of that matter if I was going to die? Why did any of those useless feelings even matter in the first place? I don’t know, but I do know that I will never waste my time holding onto those feelings again.

I learned to be thankful for the little things in life, appreciating family, friends, food, and shelter. Things that I just took for granted before, but now felt so fragile. Life itself felt fragile.

Thankfully, my dad and I are ok, but these events made me reconsider what I value in this life. These events lead me to discover a new belief.

I believe that the richest life I can live is a life lived like I am dying.




One response to “When Death Seemed Close

  1. carlymcc says:

    Thank you for reminding us readers that life is short!

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