Sometimes, as I move my writings into this one home, I often debate about whether I should just eliminate some of them as they are from my pasthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif. Then I think I do need to save them because they were part of my life. This is one of those types of stories... I wrote it in 2004... and I also shared it as Step 11 in AA... a very powerful story in my life
Over five years ago, on a cold February morning, my wife would have a surgery which opened my eyes to a world we think about, but often try to avoid. The world of death! It was suppose to be a routine surgery, lasting about a half-hour, then a half-hour in recovery, then out the doors we go! As we entered the hospital, I wasn't concerned, but neither of us were really there. Two days earlier, a lovely, bubbly, energetic, 18 year old lady died in our home. Andrea, was my step-son, Brad's girlfriend. If there is any truth to angels walking among us, she was one of them. Our home, was her home away from home. The night before our house was filled with happiness and love. Both boys were home. My 10 year old step-daughter, Lisa, was excited that her brothers were home! Everyone was relaxed, knowing that Betty's three earlier surgeries, were successful, and that we had cancer on the run.
We settled in for an evening of relaxation, watching movies, drinking hot chocolate, and eating pop corn. On one end of the couch, Brad and Andrea, cuddled, on the other end, Betty and I held hands, and Jeff and his little sister, shared the recliner. As one movie turned to two, Betty and I called it a night. We went to bed, feeling the love of family. We went to sleep knowing the kids were home and everyone was safe! About 5 AM, our bedroom door exploded. Brad beat it open, in a panic, he screamed "Andrea ain't breathing!" I yelled to call 911, Betty went to the living room, to see Andrea laying on the couch, not moving or breathing. She tried CPR, but doing it on someone you know, was to hard for her. It's like she forgot everything she ever learned. The ambulance came and raced Andrea to the hospital, within the hour she was pronounced dead. We were all in shock, less then six hours earlier, she was smiling, talking, and being her lovely self. It was later determined that she had a rare heart defect. There was nothing anyone could do to save her life.
With this, very fresh in our minds, Betty headed into surgery. Looking back on it, we should have cancelled the surgery. But it needed to be done, so chemotherapy could be started. The half-hour surgery, lasted an hour and a half. She was in recovery for close to an hour, before she was transferred back to her room. When I finally got to see her, she looked beat up, she looked rough, she looked wore out. There was a doctor and two nurses in the room, and the usual instruments showing her heart beat and oxygen levels. The only thing she talked about was how much pain she was in. She was sitting up in bed, when the doctor gave the nurse an order. She left the room, returning with two more nurses and another doctor. As I stood at the foot of the bed, I made eye contact with Betty. Everything started to change. I don't know how else to say it, except I had an "out of body" experience. I was in the corner of that hospital room, above everyone else. I could see doctors and nurses on both sides of the bed, I could see myself at the end of the bed, and I could see Betty's eyes roll back in her head. The monitors all started going flat, oxygen level began its quick drop to zero. I didn't move, I didn't say a thing. I just observed. In fact, no one said anything. One nurse put her arm around Betty and laid her down. Then there were hands moving all around Betty, nurses checking IVs, doctors checking her heart, while the other gave her a shot. But through it all, not a word was said. These doctors and nurses, knew what they had to do, and they did it. As for me, I just felt covered in peace and serenity. It's just so hard to explain. That one minute or so, I felt so close to my wife and my Creator, I just seem to understand the whole meaning of life. As my "out of body" experience ended, the monitors started to beat and the oxygen levels began to come back up. Only then, was the silence broken. The doctors gave orders, the nurses, moving about, once again, there was life in that room! But that one minute, I understood the power of the Universe. I understood the power of the angels among us, in this case, the doctors and the nurses. And I totally understood the power of love. If that day, would have been our last day as a married couple, I knew then, that it was perfect. There was never an argument, she was (and still is) my best friend. And most importantly, for my own serenity, she never knew me as a drunk. That day, I was there, for her, both spiritually and physically.
I believed before that day, that life existed after death. But after that day, all doubts were removed. We were given a second chance, which we still haven't fully embraced, but we're working on it. That day, gave me the strength to see the Wisdom at my father-in-laws death bed. It gave me the Courage, to hold Betty after her terrible car accident. And while I don't have all the answers, it gave me the Honesty, to talk openly, with Him. Whatever the future holds, that day, showed me, that I'm not walking alone. And while, I'm in no rush to get there, I know that what lies ahead, is wonderful and beautiful!