“I’m Alive!”

Darkest Before Dawn

This is the backstory. I danced with death twice in the early part of 2008. One dance was due to falling off a ladder, which resulted in a subdural hematoma (traumatic brain injury). The other was prostate cancer that had metastasized beyond the prostate. Fortunately, I was able to out dance death on my dancefloor of life.

Both the dances radically changed my life in a most positive manner. Initially, I wasn’t aware of the changes. The accident of falling off a ladder caused me to be hospitalized in ICU for four weeks and a rehab hospital for another three weeks. However, I don’t remember the fall, going to the hospital, being transferred to the rehab hospital, and only remember the last week and a half before returning home.

When I finally got home, I had to restart my life. It took a couple months to return to my normal life. Nevertheless, I lacked a frame of reference of what the old me was like. During my recovery at home, I continued to make changes in my life, which weren’t considered changes by me at that time. I thought that I was just returning to my old normal. Nonetheless, it took about five years to realize the new me. I had an anniversary party, which I called my Humpty Dumpty Party. I planned a family party to celebrate nearly killing myself due to the fall. It seemed quite reasonable to have that party. Looking back on that party, I realize that it must have seemed avant-garde by my family members.

It wasn’t until I watched Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture before I realized the changes in me. The changes weren’t in direction but in intensity. It didn’t take but a few moments of watching that video before I realized what a eureka moment means. I was able to grasp what Archimedes must have felt a couple millennia ago.

That is the backstory. Now, let me explain my second eureka moment to you. I ordered a pair of loafers from Amazon. A couple days later, they arrived. I love my new shoes. However, what I love more was that the shoe company enclosed an envelope with a letter and a haunting picture on a postcard in the shoebox. Man, I looked at that picture of a guy standing on the roof of a crashed airplane for the longest time. It reminded me instantly of watching Randy Pausch. Pausch, the guy on the plane, and I shared something in common…survival. Eureka is the only word that I can express how I felt watching The Last Lecture video. As I starred at that postcard, it was the same eureka experience.

The Last Lecture and the postcard both define who I am. I’m alive! I have had the great fortune of reaching the twelfth anniversary of my fall. I lucked out. I won’t waste my remaining time on my journey down the yellow brick road of life wishing that things were different. I don’t want to relive either of my dances, but I would not delete either from my life.

My two dances made me realize that my clock was ticking. Unless you have done the dance and/or bought loafers from Amazon with that postcard, you know your clock is ticking…intellectually. Prior to my two dances, I was just like you. However, it is more than hearing the clock ticking. It is as if I can feel it in my gut. I am alive! I have things to do on the time remaining on the dancefloor of my life.

Purposeful LivesOn Steroids
A Secret About LifeHow To Be Successful
We Are Both Dancers…Ginger and I
The Importance of the Sound of Music…According to Nietzsche and Me
Hear Ye, Hear Ye…Ti Ti Is Starting College Today!
This Is an AddendumTi Ti, the Bridge Builder
From Then to NowWhat a Difference Seven Years Has Made
Dealing with RealityIn the Human and Canine World
Two PoemsBy Two Ladies
Coming Home to RoostKierkegaard, Mt. Lebanon, Dancing, and My Family
There Is More to Dreaming…Than Just Dreaming
Focusing My Stream of ConsciousnessBy Watching a Movie
A Teaching MomentWhile Walking Ginger
Egoism vs AltruismThere is a Better Way
"Give Me a Place to Stand...And I Will Move the World.”
A Tribute to Ti Ti The Young Lady
I Dream Things That Never Were…And Say Way Not”
Another of Santayana’s Teaching Moment Maybe We Will Learn This Time
Living in Two Worlds…Part 2The Utopian Time
Reflections on My Journey Down the Yellow Brick RoadOur Clocks Are Ticking
An Open-Letter to the WorldTimes They Are a-Changin'
Ti Ti’s Spin on My WeltanschauungAnd Mine on Hers
The Use of DrugsDonnie, Aldie, and Dr. Goodspeed
Our Reason for BeingDiscover It
An Open Letter to Dr. FauciOne American’s Thank You