It’s Sunday again. About the only day of the week I feel I can sit down and ponder without feeling like I ought to be doing something! Anything! But I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the first loosening-up exercise we did for the new round of the Sandbox Challenge. Some of these prompts continue to haunt me long after I’ve answered them. In this one it was the list of objects that have meaning for me.
THAT should NOT have been hard at all. I’m surrounded by things I love. And yet I struggled to know what to write on that list. And, truthfully, I knew why. It was because of something that happened last June when I had my first A-fib episode. My pulse rate had hit 174 and in the ER they gave me an injection to slow my heart down to almost a stop so they could get a picture of the chambers to see what was happening. Basically it was like having a heart attack, and that elephant you hear folks say was sitting on their chest feels just like that! It was very scary.
Something clicked in me in that moment, I think. My mind started to wander and I thought about all I’d be leaving behind if I truly WERE to die. But what came to mind was all those little (and some big) material things I love. It occurred to me that if I should REALLY die my family wouldn’t know where half of the things I value so much even came from, who sent them, why they were special to me. They would likely discard most of them, perhaps keep one or two. They really have no meaning to anyone but me.
Then I looked over at my best friend Amy who had gotten me to the hospital. She was on the phone and had no idea what was happening to me on the table at that moment. And for the first time I guess I actually put it in perspective what was important in life. It wasn’t all those things, as much as I treasured them. It was the people, the relationships I’ve nurtured over the years. His nibs, Brandon, Stefanie, the rest of my family, and Amy (we’ve been gettin’ into trouble together for nigh on 30+ years!) and a world-full of friends. I knew in that moment I needed to make sure that the people I love know I treasure them more than anything else in the world. That was the most important thing I could leave behind.
Today our daughter Stef invited us over for dinner. We had a great visit. She’s a terrific, adventurous cook and had made some cauliflower risotto. OML!!! THAT will get you to eat your veggies! I watched with much admiration as she interacted with our four grandkids all evening, and before we left I took her aside, gave her a big hug, and told her what a great mom she was, and that she was an inspiration to me. THAT is what I need to do to each of my true treasures. Not just once, but over and over again.
And that’s why that list didn’t seem very important to me this time. My perspective change a lot laying there on that table in the ER. As scary as it was, I think that experience was truly a gift from God. It’s just taken me a while to admit it. 🙂