“There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it’s heavenly, but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. One must change physically or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true. God, when he was creating the world, said at the end of each day of creation: ‘Yes, this is true, this is good.’ This . . . this is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don’t forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don’t really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What’s most frightening is that it’s so terribly clear, and there’s such joy. If it were longer than five seconds — the soul couldn’t endure it and would vanish. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it’s worth it. To endure ten seconds one would have to change physically . . . .” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Demons
It is hard to hold onto pure lucidity. For awhile, I had forgotten the clarity I had about life after having had a brain tumor. This year, more than others, I look at my daughter who is now 9 and think of the moment she became a thought inside my head. This Christmas season I reflect on those things I had a great passion for after my surgery. LOVE. To love with everything I had because love is meant to be shared and to be felt by everyone! This is my story about a moment that changed my life forever, my close call.
It was the winter of 2000 and holiday parties were in full swing. So many memories come flooding back when I think about who I was in those days. I was married with no children and had only a handful of friends who were really my husbands friends. Life seemed so much simpler. Life was calm and maybe a tad bit boring but when our friends had a party we always had a good time.
I was never one for alcohol, I didn’t grow up around it and the 10 years after I graduated High School was more work and school than anything that would resemble play. But this one night we were invited to a Christmas party at a friends house and the hostess made Cosmopolitans because Sex In The City was big at this time… they were delicious.
After a few drinks, and as my husband was involved in some sort of game that I had already lost, I got up to get some water. At least that is what I last remembered I was going to do. The rest of this story is told by more lucid perspectives.
From Dave’s point of view I sat down next to him with a huge glass of water in which I was chugging; in fact, chugging would have been an understatement. Before I finished the glass Dave somehow discovered it was Vodka, my slurred speech and silliness along with my attempt to undress because my clothes were making me hot were little clues.
From Cindy’s point of view I gave Dave my glass laughed and did a lazy zig zag waltz out the front door. She followed to find me sitting in a foot of snow trying to cool off. My husband shows up on her heels and they help me inside to the bathroom where my sweet friend Cindy cleaned up Christmas food hurl that didn’t make the desired target.
My point of view… waking up freezing cold on a bathroom floor in wet clothes wondering wth. I wondered into the living room to find a few friendly faces that hadn’t left the party yet and my husbands one face. I could tell he was disappointed as well as amused I had made a complete fool out of myself.
The next morning I woke up early; I had a shopping / lunch date with my mom. We rarely got time like this together and I wasn’t going to cancel although I looked like death had found me. We had lunch first… I still remember the lunch like yesterday. I told her about my night and the look of concern on her face had branded itself into my mind to this day.
What happened during the next few hours changed my life forever and if it hadn’t happened I am not sure I would be the same person today or even alive for that matter.
This day was turning into a gorgeous day. The sun was out and the snow was rapidly melting. My mom and I had just finished shopping and decided to call it a day. I was relieved because I wanted to go home and sleep my hangover away. We arrived at my mom’s car and I stepped around to help my mom into her side, there was still a bit of black ice and I didn’t want her to fall. Next thing I know I am on my side of the car flat on my back having found a patch of that sneaky black ice for myself. I jumped up when I heard my mom say, “Hastywords? Are you OK?”
I opened the door on my side and slid in laughing. I slipped and we laughed hysterically at how fast I fell and how I could have been sliding through the parking lot on my back. Seriously, you had to be there; but we laughed until we cried all the way back to my house. It was one of my favorite memories with my mom.
Skip forward about three days…
I felt dizzy and sick ever since I had fallen. My boss made me call the doc so I did. I told the nurse I felt dumb for calling because I just bumped my head but they scheduled a CAT scan to make sure I didn’t have a concussion. A very long story shorter they found I had a brain tumor. The brain tumor wasn’t very large, maybe about an inch and a half in diameter, but it had jostled when I fell and was making me nauseous.
I had the option to watch and see how fast it was growing or have it removed. How can you leave something that isn’t supposed to be in your brain and hope it doesn’t grow? I had it removed. Turns out the tumor was beginning to grow arms and if I hadn’t found it when I did chances are I would still have it. Chances are it would have grown into the space between the two hemispheres where the blood comes and goes from my brain.
Many really great things came from having the tumor and getting it removed. The most important being the decision to have children; my daughter is a blessing and I thank God everyday for the things I endured leading me to her.
From the moment I found out I had a brain tumor until a week and a half after surgery I felt peace as I have never felt again. I am convinced it was supernatural. I will never forget how it felt, how perfectly safe and protected I felt. I hope that is what Heaven feels like!
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