Monday, August 29, 2005

Networking.

Have you ever stopped to think how many life changing moments you've had? Really, on how many occasions could you say that your life changed as a result of some moment in time or string of events?

As usual, it's 3 AM and I can't sleep. While lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling I asked myself, "Vavoom, how many times can you look back and say 'Man, that changed everything...'?"

I'd rather not delve into some convoluted discussion of network theory, but in a sense, don't all of our decisions and subsequent experiences formulate a web of possibilities? I'm relatively young. As such, I can only point to a few moments that have changed my life significantly. Since its late and continuing with the online show and tell that is Tedrow Drive, I'll share one moment that changed my life years ago:

I had received the call. They said it was a heart attack. A pretty bad one. I hurried home and saw my father in the post operative clinic. I looked at him. I couldn't believe that he was sick. My Father, sick? It's not possible. "Hi Dad, can you hear me?" His eyes open slightly. He tried to speak, but couldn't. From his dry, cracked lips, a slightly recognizable smile emerged from his face. "You're gonna be alright, Dad, everything's going to be alright." Suddenly, his smile disappeared. He clutched my hand slightly and in an instant his hand went limp. Alarms sounded. I was quickly pushed away by the medical team. They huddled around him and yelled medical jargon back and forth at one another. "This is it. He's going to die," I thought. For reasons that even now I can't explain, I ran out of the room. "He's dying, get back in there," I told myself. All I could do is lean my head up against the nearest wall and sob. I spent an hour, motionless against that wall. Suddenly, I felt a hand on the small of my back. "He's going to be okay, Vavoom. He needs to rest. He's stabilized. You can see him tomorrow morning."

My Father's illness to this day terrifies me. It's certainly changed my perspective on life. Certainly I've learned how to cope with it. Still, the day I learned of his heart condition is one that I'll never forget. My Father suddenly became mortal. I can't help but think, had he died I would have never forgiven myself for leaving the room.

As always, I'm curious. What are some events that have changed your life? How do you think things would have changed had you acted differently?

6 Comments:

Blogger RT said...

Those late hours will get you into the deep thoughts, won't they Vavoom?

We all have life changing moments, some people just chose to recognize them and hold on to them for dear life, while others tend to forget them until similar moments show up again, then they kick themselves for 'missing it'.

Take death for instance (but this could go for anything). When someone you love comes close to death, you have all these powerful emotions and thoughts of how "I screwed up, I'm never going to let that happen again" or " I'm going to make my loved ones know how much I love them everyday." But then, 5 years, 10 years pass without worry, and you kind of forget that lesson. But it's not necessarily a bad thing. (Could you imagine living in constant fear of losing your loved ones? It would drive them insane!) It's when you take it to the other extreme that it because not such a good thing. When you stop loving people because you're afraid of losing them...

Oh hell. I'm sure you've heard that one before, so here's one that no one told me, but I think I learned it pretty good.

It doesn't matter what you do in life. No matter how much you shower those in your life with love, no matter what paths you chose to take in life, you're going to have regrets that you didn't do all that you could. They may not show up right away, or they may, you can bet your ass that they will show up at some point. It's human nature. So just relax, realize that it will happen, and enjoy the time you have.

Got it?

3:03 PM  
Blogger RT said...

PS: Have I told you lately how much you Dad Rocks! for raising such a fine son? :o)

3:05 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

The event that changed my life was my marriage to The Missus. If I passed on the marriage thing with her, my life would have been very different. How different, I'll never know. But, I do know that with her, it's been a great life.

Ditto to RT's comment above.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I think the death of a loved one is the most life altering experience one can have. My best friend passed away from cancer almost 4 years ago. She wanted to try homeopathic medicine instead of doing chemo. I regret not convincing her to do a more "routine" treatment. I think about how if I was stronger, she might be still here today.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

Too numerous to list.

10:55 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

I'm extremely happy to say that (knock on wood) I haven't lost a member of my immediate family. So in some ways, death will open a cocoon for me in the future because even the other deaths (dogs, cats and grandparents I've seen less than 4 times) have strongly affected me. I'd say the major moment of change for me was getting divorced nearly a decade ago.

10:32 AM  

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