The book I’ve been writing for ten years has not come to an end. Instead, I’ve decided to bypass the get published technicalities and share chapters of life each week in my blog. My hope is for readers to see beyond the surface of the stories and feel the power of emotions and isolated events. When you break your life down in a series of unforgettable moments, you get a microcosmic view of mankind’s history. Not the stories we read in history class. The unpublished stories are unedited truths. They’re the ones you don’t hear about.
And, maybe this one will disclose some insight about how we affect each other individually and universally. We need to remember our roots no matter how advanced our technology. Be real. Forgive. Dare yourself. Cherish relationships that nourish your heart. Recognize learning opportunities and do the work. Your spirit thrives on revelations during this human experience. Here are my revelations thus far….
“The two most important days are the day you were born and the day you discover why.” ~Mark Twain
If I didn’t live on the edge, I’d feel like I was taking up too much space.
Born at the edge of the United States in Key West in the summer of ‘64, I splashed into life by the ocean. My mother tells me I knew how to swim since birth. Fearless of water, I’d go as far as I could until my mother’s faint call to come closer was obeyed. The maverick in me relished the deep. Shallow waters were too, well, shallow.
Born to witness four television channels multiply to countless; fortunate to grow up before the cell phone and bypass addiction to technology; blessed to get dirty while playing and take a bath at night to wash it down the drain. Raised to take responsibility for choices…good and bad. As I got older, life challenges pushed me in deep waters and self-confidence receded like the tide. Risk of drowning in failures was replaced with staying on safe shores.
A child of an alcoholic, a recipient of misdirected anger and aggression, obliterated of lucid thinking from decades of epilepsy and the medication, master of panic attacks, nearly drowned in grief, guilty of blaming others, making excuses, repeating mistakes, and taking my sweet time in learning the lessons.
Graciously blessed by love, transformation of health and well being, brightened by laughter and smiles, discovering the novelty and power of doing the undone and freeing my mind of the past to live in the present.
Emotional and physical plunges almost drowned me. Love pulled me up. To appreciate anyone’s present, you need to know their past. The words I write are a reflection of the influence of others, known and unknown. You are a reflection of others. If you take pause, your peripheral vision widens to catch sight of details you missed.
And, life my friend, is in the details.
1967. Moved West as a kid and lived in the cool state, California. I don’t remember being there; but I know I absorbed the energy of it. Feels like home every time I visit.
At the ripe age of five, my little brother and me were taken to Disneyland. I was like a bulldog puppy bouncing all over the place. I hugged Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and every other Disney character that grabbed me into the television at home. To me, they were real. My eyes were mesmerized in this Small World. The robust colors, sounds, and feelings charged me with joy and amazement.
Eager to ride roller coasters; thrilled to pretend to be a pilot of the undulating airplanes circling a pole; and excited to befriend live animals eager to eat food from my little hands. All my five senses tantalized to the brim. It was a kid’s nirvana.. Screaming on kiddie rides wasn’t from fear. It was my body’s means to prevent an overdose of adrenaline charged glee.
I seized the day. It seized me.
Around midnight, my mother woke up to witness her long haired blonde daughter having a grand mal seizure. Rigged limbs gripped by contracted muscles. Clenched teeth locked by a jaw of steel. A body devoid of its mind.
All from an unpredicted fire of brain wave frequencies without warning. Maternal instinct revved to high gear. Rushed to hospital ER. Doctors trying to squelch the fire with drugs without success. Thirty minutes of a grand mal seizure can be fatal. I was breaking records no one gets a trophy for.
My mother pleaded to do whatever it took to stop it. The ER doctor said the Valium dose was enough to to knock out a 300 pound man. Unsettled, but, knowing the alternative was permanent, one more injection was given. 42 minutes of a seizure. New record noted.
My eyes squinted as the bright hospital light hovered over me. Dazed and confused as medical professionals stared at me with equal bewilderment.
I was healthy; no family history of epilepsy; no reason to explain its emergence. It just happened. And, it did not intend to leave. My body was preparing me for future events.
Medication kept seizures managed most of the time; but, the dosage and combinations had repercussions. Memories of childhood are sparse. Seizures and medication are emotion and memory thieves. I learned to write to remember what I’d forget.
Maybe God was doing me a favor by minimizing my memories so I’d be influenced by more important moments. It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past. I’ve got too much to focus on now. Living in the past is a regrettable mindset. My father taught this truth well. I felt his regrets more ways than one….
To be continued…I will be posting a new chapter each Thursday. Until then, keep it real.
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