When Dr. Markowitz first told me that my aneurysm had at best six months before it would have ruptured and killed me, I contemplated heavily in that first month of recovery that this could have easily been my last months alive. I thought of how far away that six month anniversary of my surgery seemed at the time. I wondered if I could successfully get there. I thought about if and when I did get there I would really be starting my new life.
So the anniversary has arrived and I feel a sense of relief and empowerment that I faced my demons and emerged victorious. My scar has faded some but it reminds me daily that life can be snatched from our firm hold more easily than we think. I realize that my body has been changed forever. I sometimes dwell on the “imperfect” me that now exists. Kathy continues to remind me that the old body was the imperfect one, I just didn’t know it.
I went for a five and half mile run yesterday and as I begin the run I think nothing of the long distance in front of me. I am thankful that I can approach the road or the day of work or whatever lies before me with an optimism that I didn’t have a few short months ago. The finish lines when I started were measured in days and weeks and now I hopefully will measure them in years. I run strong and without pain or fatigue. I run with a different body; lighter, and just different.
Not all my hours and days are filled with positivity and optimism. I sometimes feel a new weakness or fragility that I have never felt. I get a bit sad reflecting on the struggles over the past few months and again Kathy is there to remind me of the hurdles we have overcome. This journey is a process of discovery and self realization. I have to remember that I doubted getting to this day six months ago. When tomorrow’s sun sets the day in the books I will begin the rest of my life. I am more aware then ever that the amount of time we “get” is not predictable. We control those aspects of our life that we can and let the rest play out as it should. The next six months will only be better than the last and I will continue to step forward each day with the attitude that this new body works better than the last and has given me the opportunity to see my children grow, my practice flourish, and my wife and I become better friends. These second chances are rare. Embrace them!