It has been two weeks since my brush with death. Three days before that my husband and I went to see the movie "I Can Only Imagine". In part, the lyrics to the theme song go:
"Surrounded by your glory what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine. I can only imagine."
I almost got to experience that rather than imagine it. I almost got to answer the questions in the song.
In the days since the carbon monoxide accident I have spent a lot of time thinking about and appreciating all the things I almost never got to do again; things like snuggling up in my bed in a comfortable position, feeling the carpet under my feet and walking through my house. I almost never again got to again kiss my husband or lay on his chest and listen to his heart beat as I drift off to sleep. I almost never again got to experience in this life hugging each of my children and grandchildren and telling them that I love them. I didn't know that I could've been finished; that all the projects I was in the middle of, the books I was reading and planned to read would never get finished. I almost never again got to watch another movie, sit on my front porch, plant and water flowers, go to my favorite cupcake place, open a fridge, feel hungry or cook. I almost never again got to listen to the noisy fan in my bedroom that keeps me cool at night, and all the other things that suddenly in a heartbeat I was almost permanently done doing and would never experience again. I had just come up with a great new plan to give each weekday a theme. I was very excited about it. I had only done it for 2 days. I almost never got to try out the whole week.
Laying out on the driveway with the paramedics around me, I had no idea how close my brush with death was. I thought I just needed to get some fresh air and I would be fine. It wasn't until later when I could think clearly again that I could see the sequence of events that had to play out just right in order for me to still be here. I was shocked by the reality of how close I had actually come to leaving this life. It would be a painless way to die really. You just get dizzy and tired and go to sleep. The drawback is you don't get to say goodbye.
Why have I been preserved? Why am I here when others who have experience my same exact thing have not been preserved? I have been given a second chance at life, and I need to figure out why and do what I've been left here to do.
When something like this happens everyone is shocked, and then relieved, and then then life moves on. Life goes back to normal as though it hadn't happened. For the person it happens to, it is different. I was shocked. I am relieved. I plan to move on. I don't wish to be stuck.
I hope to move on permanently changed by this experience. I hope to move forward with a fresh perspective on the meaning of life and my role in it. But at the moment, my brain can't really take in all that has happened and what it all means. All the thoughts and emotions inside of me are like a large pile of tangled yarn in front of me that I feel compelled to unravel, as though I can't really do anything else until that is sorted out. And so I give myself permission to have time and space to do that. I give myself permission to not finish my self-help book, not plant a vegetable garden for the first time ever, not focus on my goals for a while, not push myself. Just sit. Just sit and figure out why I am here.