Monday, July 2, 2012

What would you do if you knew the world was ending?

I was watching a movie called "4:44" last night and it was about the world's last day, it is told from the point of view of an artist and a writer and how they spend their last day on earth.  It got me thinking on what I would do if I knew that the world was ending at a specific time.  I am not sure I could have handled the news of impending doom with such grace and conviction.  Facing my own mortality has been enough of a struggle and I am thankful for the knowledge that no one knows the time or manner of my demise.  I like the fact that the doctor's don't know if I am going to live or die tomorrow, that no matter their predictions and worrying and all their tests they cannot narrow down enough to give me a date and time that I may leave this earth.

For years now I have been beating the odds that have been stacked against me, and even when I longed  for deaths embrace it wouldn't even come.  You would be surprised at the depths and lengths I went to  trying to make my end come forth.  I did everything you can imagine to put my life in risk.  I even lived on the street for several months, knowing full well that my health was in peril.  See I had found out in October of 2011 that my kidneys had begun to fail and yet I chose the path that I was on and did nothing to change it direction.  In my reckless haste I ended up loosing two of my dear and closest friends, my two dogs Skylar and Madison.  I had left Texas to try and save Madison and all I did was postpone the inevitable. I got back to Atlanta the 3rd of January and by November they were taken from me and put to sleep.  I wish things could have been different, but due to circumstances and choices I have made I sealed their fate and have to live with those consequences for the rest of my days.

Even now, knowing that my life is not going to get any different and that it is just a matter of time till end up dying. I hope that I have the grace and courage to face the end with dignity.  See even after all my reckless abandon I am not sure that I really want to die.  Even now, I am working with my doctor's to try and figure out the next steps in my healthcare and how they are going to address kidney failure and the advancing Hepatitis C.  I believe that the next steps since my surgery was a failure, is going to be a series of dialysis and interferon treatments to address Hep C.  But again, going to have to wait and see what they offer on July 9th.

What all of you don't know is that my struggle has been a silent one, and one that was hidden from most people that were not close to me.  I kept hidden from everyone around me the depths of my despair and surrounded myself with others who were as damaged and hurt as I was.  These people accepted my drug use as being a part of them and not some design in a greater scheme of personal destruction. I would like you all to know that something amazing happened on this journey, it was an unexpected development and something that I never thought could possibly happen.  People started looking at me with eyes of respect.  Admiring my will to survive and the courage to continue to fight.  What I kept hidden was my overwhelming desire to through it all in.  I had been fighting this battle for 20 years and I am tired. However, as I started talking to others and finding out the strength and courage they were taking from my experiences, I knew that I had to continue that there was a lesson here that needed to be taught.  So after learning all of this I gathered my courage around me and made a call to my dad.  I told him about my health condition and the severity of it.  He offered to let me come and stay with him and my step mom for awhile till I get back on my feet.

I wasn't here even a month when I had to have emergency surgery because my colon ruptured in 2 places.  I have had 4 surgeries since March and I am still here.  I am still fighting and I have taken up several causes to help shift my mental focus and energies towards others who are in need.  So here is the crux of the matter of this entry, do you want to live your life with love, laughter, grace and dignity?  I know that I do.  I want to live my life as an example to show others that life continues and goes on even in the face of terminal illness and disease.  I want others to know that life and living is a matter of the mind, even if your world seems to be collapsing around your ears. Positive thinking and personal involvement in living are necessary to achieve a lasting and fulfilling life. Remember your family and love them because Life is not worth living without family.

Self destruction and a defeatist attitude cannot win out if you stay positive and strong in your beliefs.  It is important to remember yourself and those who are with you in your struggles.  You never know that when you see someone it might be the last time you ever get to see them.  Live life every day like it is your last one, and take time to always enjoy those around you and appreciate them, because they are struggling with you and feel a pain as deep or deeper than you can imagine.  They struggle and rail against what is happening to you and they watch on helplessly knowing that they can do nothing but be there for you.  Tell them thank you and you appreciate the sacrifices they are making for you and tell them how much they have made your life so much easier.  Everyone needs to be loved and appreciated and you need to recognize the struggles they are going through with you and alone.  Sometimes they feel so overwhelmed and burdened to the breaking point.  Give them a hug, a kiss, a shout of recognition will go a long way to ease their pain and burden. Trust me I know what I am talking about here.

So again I ask you what would you do if you knew the world was ending?  I know what I am going to do, and what I have been doing since I found out how sick I really was.  I am reaching out across the miles and the hurt and the pain to those who suffered with me and cared for me.  Whose life's are entangled with mine, and without whom I wouldn't be here today.  I know I cannot thank them enough, I cannot make up for the past hurts, but I can move on knowing that I have made my peace with them and have thanked them and acknowledged everything that they did for me.  I want every day that I live to be full of nothing but laughter, love and joy, and I want to bring that and so much more to everyone around me.  I ask that you keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and I ask that you look inward to yourself, and take the time to smell the roses, acknowledge those around you, sincerely see the choices and sacrifices they have made for you and tell them thank you and how much you love them.

Keep a smile on your face, joy in your heart and positive outlook on the future and you never ever know how long that is going to be. You might be like me and outlive all the dire predictions and doomsayers and you could and probably will out live them all.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B