Jul 07, 2014
It has been 10 years since my surgery. It is almost unthinkable that it has been that long. I spent the Fourth of July with friends this year. Ironically, it was at the same place I spent it back in 2004...just two days before my surgery. My friend owns a home on a lake in my town and the city sets off fireworks over the lake every year. This year was bitter-sweet. This will be the last time we will see the fireworks from this house as my friend will be moving soon. Watching those fireworks just brought back all of the memories and emotions from 2004....the anxiety of surgery....the feelings of finality.....the acknowledgement that my life was about to change..... or be over... in just a couple of days. It prompted me to look at old photos from back then. The 400 pound me...staring at the camera hiding behind so much pain. I could even recall the thoughts I was having as the pictures were being taken....how badly I really felt but didn't want to show it and ruin everyone's festivities. I look at the me then and stare into my eyes and I can see the pain there. I can see the old man giving up. I can see the light dimming away. The surgery truly was a last ditch effort. There was no other worldly option. There was nothing left.
I look back over the past 10 years. So many things that have happened that....in all honesty....I wish never did. The surgery to start. Do I regret the surgery? Absolutely not. I know that I am writing to you from the grave right now if it were not for it. So, regret? What regret? Why regret? I regret that path that lead me to the surgery. The hard road that lead to that man staring at that camera 10 years ago that had given up on everything. The man that was too sick to enjoy life and too torn to even care. I would like to tell the little boy that would grow up to be that man to not go down that road. Change your life. Love yourself. And most importantly....don't be afraid. Don't be afraid of the world. Don't be afraid of change. Don't be afraid of yourself.
I wonder what the man ten years from now will tell the man writing this memoir. Hey....wake up.....you've been given another chance.....DO SOMETHING!!! Make it count!!! What are you waiting for?
What am I waiting for?
All things end...eventually. Time is a non-renewable resource. It cannot be bottled and saved for later.
What am I waiting for?
I need to find the courage to take the hard path....the path that is really not so hard at all. It is actually the easier way, it is just scarier.
Where is that damn courage?
Come on, future me, where is that pep talk that I need? Tell me how I have made the corner and we finally got it all together. No stories of "what if" or "should have". Let's have none of that.
Maybe courage is not really so important. Maybe just faith and appreciation are enough. Maybe living for today and not worrying about that old man in the photo is a better way. A better today.