So, a couple of days before Christmas I had a little angina/heart palpitation thing happen while I was walking on the track. Erica forced me to go to see a doctor the next day. . .long story short. . . involving a couple of EKGs and a trip to the emergency room. I was placed in a large room in case of heart attack and had the usual blood work, missed veins, waiting for tests, etc. before I was released 3 hours later with no signs of a heart attack but scout's honor that a visit to the cardiologist about my irregular heartbeat was in my future. Oh goody!
While I'm waiting to be discharged, I see the boots and overcoat of a firefighter pass in front on the curtain to my room. Then lots of feet flew by, the 'code blue' alarm sounded and emergency procedures could be heard in the room next to me. I lost count of how many times I heard the code blue alarm go off and the voice of one person in particular repeating, "Come back, John. I don't want to lose you. John, stay with me. We're not ready to let you go-- stay with us!" This unnerving and frantic litany continued while I signed my own discharge papers, had all the machines disconnected and gathered my belongings to leave. I was elated that I didn't have to spend the night, that my blood levels showed no residue of recent heart damage, that the day was still young. . .and I was alive. Right next door someone was fighting for his life. When I walked out of the emergency room I saw a burly EMT guy filling out a report and policemen pacing up and down the hallway. The irony of this situation stopped me in my tracks.
I told this story because I want to remember how unpredictable and fragile life is, even if the old saws about life being like a flame seem trite, they are exceedingly true. My goal is to try to remember that 'this is it' for now and be grateful for what I do have. Being a little lazy, I'm sure I'll lapse but I have a lot of images to remind me.
our favorite candy bars from 'back home'
my very own copy of Ratatouille
and you know the rest!