I'm Not Even Supposed to be Here TodayA Story by Patrick M Arthur
How long do you think an infant could survive with their own umbilical cord tightening like a hangman’s noose around their neck? At what point is death or significant brain damage in such a morbid scenario unavoidable--three minutes? Four or five, maybe? How long before that unborn life becomes at best nothing more than automated breathing tubes, an electric wheelchair and a pair of eyes without a spark? When do you think the doctors would finally give up and call the morgue before moving on to the next patient? If you were given the chance to determine your own fate, is this the kind of beginning you would choose?
Well, this is how my life started, dead in the womb. For somewhere between five and seven minutes I was backwards and unconscious and after evaluating the dire situation, a delivery room nurse came out to ask my grandmother which life should they try to save"my mother’s or my own?
‘You are going to save them both,’ the nurse was told. Against all logic, reason and medical science, my grandmother’s answer was one of pure emotion, with not an iota of fact to back it up, only faith. Yet, somehow, my mother and I are still both alive today.
I have been told this story and heard it retold often during my young life and while I don’t consciously think about it day-to-day, this truth still lives deep inside my mind. Sometimes it haunts my sleep and sometimes, like now, when I have fallen deep into the abyss, it comes back to remind me that my life has always been a second chance, an opportunity that very few will ever be given. When this reminder does come I am not always ready to hear it, but the cacophony never ceases. It could be a few hours or it might even be several months before I finally remember the value of every single breath, but when I do, that is the moment I decide to start the long, painful climb back up to the surface and attempt once again to reach the stars above. It takes time to see that time is not on any of our sides and that there are only two speeds on this Earth, forward or dead.
Maybe I have already seen heaven and hell. Maybe I already know where we all come from and where our ultimate Fates lie. Or maybe I don’t know anything, because this one chance is all we have and there is no other side to the coin. Then again I am living proof that the miraculous does happen, that the spirit of humanity can be greater than even the will of Death and doesn’t that mean our lives could be so much more than we think they are, limited by nothing else than what we believe to be possible?
No one knows, not even those people such as myself--the literal living dead. I can’t tell you with any kind of certainty that a life spent pondering the big questions is more valid than a life spent commanding the boardroom, saving the whales or serving the poor. All I know is that there ain’t nothing about life that is meant to be easy. Everyone has their own lead cross to bear, from the mighty prince to the lowly pauper.
If you want to know what I believe, it is that life goes on within us and without us. In the end, the only thing that matters is how strongly we have loved and been loved. What we can learn about ourselves, and how that knowledge contributes to humanities’ grand esoteric play.
But then again, what do I know? Remember, I’m not even supposed to be here today.
© 2011 Patrick M Arthur
Added on September 4, 2011
Last Updated on September 4, 2011
Patrick M Arthur
New York, NY
AboutPatrick M Arthur is a writer and activist living in the NYC area. He is dedicated to improving Human rights, relations and destiny through discussion and embrace of all the things that make us unique.. more..
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