By Kenneth Stepp
I call them the knowns…. I know who I’ll take my vacation with, I know who I’ll retire with, I know I know I know. Then one day that person you knew you would do life with forever, has a different forever than you. It’s like driving full speed in the dark because you trust your surroundings and know them well, then you hit a wall that wasn’t there the day before.
In many cases you wish the wall was your forever ending too. In my case it was. I can’t say I remember much but I died too. Three times actually. After being “brought back” I slipped into a ten day coma. I was in the hospital for ten weeks not expecting to be in a position to write this piece. I can’t remember several months of that time. It may be God’s kindness that I cannot.
I’ve survived breakups that I didn’t think I could. I’ve survived many things most humans will never deal with. For example, that wasn’t my first or even my longest coma. I’ve made choices in my life to live on a serrated edge. Those adrenaline rushes take a toll on us mortal humans.
I left the hospital about 15 months ago. I’ve had plenty of time to think about things. I believe that was my expiration date and my family’s free will intervened. I am thankful for my kids and what can only be called, the best mom in this world. I lived, now what?
Although as I start training again, adding a tan, weight and muscle, I look like the man I was again, but my heart has changed in ways I am only now discovering. Deep down I know that I am still the same self centered self indulgent man I was. But my heart has the memory of a deep love. I’ve love deeply before but they are still here doing life while I watch from a distance. She watches me, I feel her there.
I was raised by great parents. They instilled traits in us that live on today. My dad always said, leave them better than you found them. It could be as simple as a smile or as complex as getting your hands dirty helping someone get through something. I learned from my dad that if I’m anxious or hurting to help others.
I doubt I could hurt more than I do today so dad, here I am, send me. With whatever life I have left I will do three things. I will help others in whatever way I can. I will chase peace, not money or things. Lastly, I will keep going. I don’t always want to but she would want that. As kindness goes, she set the standard. I’ll see her again and we’ll have the best conversation.
My friends: We will all experience loss, some so deep that we don’t want to keep going. Go anyway. The world is against us most of the time. Don’t let it win. I love you guys. My readers mean more to me than they will ever know. We will always have people in our lives that matter to us. Grow those relationships. Treat them with the tenderness and care they deserve. Remember these words… “Love people, use things”