Saturday, November 26, 2005

Memorial Stone #1 - Hunger

Memorial stone #1 is one of those times when God intervened without any action or attitude shift from me. He simply had mercy on me and preserved my life. Have you ever heard the expression "I almost died laughing"? Well, I really almost did. I was in second grade and my dad had been chasing me and tickling me. I was in that sweaty, hyper, buzzing state that I'm sure parents can relate to. It was almost bedtime and my mom wanted me to swallow a vitamin C pill. It was big enough to choke a horse. I started to swallow it and then caught a glimpse of my dad sneaking up on me. I'm sure he didn't know I was trying to swallow the pill. I breathed in the pill and it lodged in my trachea, beyond the point where one could still manage to swallow. After choking, coughing, and fighting it I found that I could breath a little, but my chest hurt like crazy. Later they found that it had lodged in my right bronchial tube. My mom fed me an apple to help work it down and I went to bed. From what I have been told, that night it apparently worked its way back up and I choked in my sleep. My parents heard banging noises and came in to find me blue and my body convulsing. I woke up in an ambulance fighting to breathe and remember the ambulance attendant saying, "Relax, just relax." Years later I bumped into this attendant and he told me that on the way to the hospital I had flatlined. They were just about to apply the defibrillator when my body lunged and my heart started again. I don't remember much from the ordeal. I remember my nose bleeding inside the oxygen mask, I remember waking up from surgery and throwing up, and I remember the fascination and thrill that I found in the fact that I could press a button and get ice cream delivered to me anytime I wanted. For a kid who had to surrender his Halloween candy because it was "bad for me" and eat Carob balls and dates instead, the instant ice cream was a pretty sweet deal...literally. Sweeter still was the appreciation for life after I came home from the hospital. I found joy and fulfillment from helping other students in my class with their math problems. I spoke encouragement and showed kindness to the kids who were mocked by others due to their physical or mental challenges. I learned there was a life outside myself and sensed a Creator whom I really wanted to know more. Missionaries came to my church and I was awed by their stories and the items they brought with them. I knew there was a peace in things of God and even began "witnessing" to classmates the only way I knew how ("My church is really neat. Last Sunday they had big snakeskins on a table!") I wasn't even born again yet, but I just knew there was more and wanted others to seek with me. I had a hunger that all the ice cream in the world could never satisfy.


At 11/26/2005, Blogger wilsonian said...

What a potent reminder of the fragility of life. It sounds like the lesson was not lost on you.


At 11/29/2005, Blogger Tony Myles said...

Holy crow, dude! I not only followed this through your eyes but wondered about the deal from your dad's perspective. This past year I was wrestling with my four year old son and he bopped his front teeth on some concrete. It almost caused them to fall out... I felt like trash.


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