This morning I was watching CBS news and probably for the first time I heard what the pilot Sully Sullenberg had to say about life after the crash on the Hudson River. If you recall Sullenberg was the pilot.
He talked about the fact that as the plane was going down, he didn’t at that moment, think about how this would impact his life. The news anchor had asked him if he had an epiphany at that moment or an awareness something had happened that would change his life forever. He was thoughtful in his answer, and he said no, not in that moment. After he called his wife, he said he knew it was one of those moments that would change direction in his life forever.
We all will have those moments. Its a matter of when they come. I was thinking about that this morning as I laced up my Nike running shoes. Three years ago, I would not have ever thought…well I may have thought about it…but I would never have done it. It is getting out and running or walking three miles every morning. Those significant life events, open our eyes and it is a new dawn in our lives.
Its just like the picture on my timeline. The sunrise…I never take it for granted. Oh I have another day, another day. Yes!
People that have not experienced this yet, are very difficult to communicate with about it. That’s a topic for another blog. Also a very interesting one, because us survivors are always wanting to help others gain awareness. It just can’t happen until you have that moment yourself. What I have learned after my first year in recovery, is that it is not necessary for me to talk about it unless someone else brings it up. The opportunities come to me. I don’t have to go to them. And I need less and less to talk about it. I have discussed it with other bloggers, and alas it to is the reason the blogs get fewer and farther between.
Sully Sullenberger and the other survivors of the Hudson Crash stood on the edge of an airplane wing in the cold river and are forever changed. If you meditate or believe in sitting quietly and envisioning things, take a moment to close your eyes and take a deep breath and envision yourself standing on a wobbly plane in the freezing cold with many others around you wondering if this is the moment. Are you going to die or is someone going to come at the last moment and save you? Is there a God and if so why is he having you go through this?
It is your oh shit moment. I call it that. The impact of things you go through don’t always ‘hit’ you at that moment. There is no time to think, it is a time of action or inaction. My brother Roger had a moment like that. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the option of reviewing his choice. He choose wrong and died at 26 in an accident that might have been prevented, had he chosen differently. I have thought about that moment, many times in my life.
We learn from those moments of decision. We live with the consequences. We have a new dawn or not. As for my new dawn, I am quite aware that this life can change direction. A single day can take you off the course you planned. Like John Lennon once said “Life is what happens, when you are making other plans.” Yes, tell him about it as he was murdered on the streets of New York. No choice.
The thing I have learned is that I have a choice now. I have a choice each day. I am constantly reminded of how my life has changed since that phone call late on a Friday afternoon in a field outside Fall City in 2012. I am constantly reminded, in a good way that NOW I can still put on my shoes and go for a run. In the afternoon I can still go for a swim. I can still feel the sun on my face (if it would ever come out in Seattle). Life is good. I put a passion in everything I do now. My priorities have changed. I am my priority.
I use to worry about the most trivial things. Do people like me? Am I doing a job that somebody else thinks is good? Are my kids satisfied with me?(oh please on that one) Do I look ok? Does anybody know me? What should I do.
Thank you cancer for the awareness of what really matters. I have the gift of choice, and I don’t take it for granted because I know it can be removed in one breath! I might still make a choice that is not the best choice but at least I am aware of it. Oh I need to remember that!! I am no longer tied up in other people’s opinions.
I can say with no regret that I was not satisfied with the person I was before cancer. I can also say with confidence that I like the person I am now. I am happy. I know who I am. I am free from the old chains, and in many instances old circumstances and all to the thanks of a deadly disease, that for now is gone but forever in my mind.
It does take almost dying to get living. Better late than never.
Have a great day. Tie those laces and get out there! The race is on and you are still in it.