I republish this story once a year to remind myself and others what is important in life. The story was orginally published in 2016.
I have always watched my health. I have tried to eat well and make exercise a priority every week of my life since I was ten years old. Exercise and eating right are things I value in life. However, there are events in life that are just outside of our control.
When I turned fifty, I was sitting at the dinner table one night when my family noticed that my hand had turned blue. Not good. We immediately went to the emergency room. As it turns out, I had a severe embolism. Instead of going to my head, the embolism traveled down my arm to my hand instead.
The doctors said I was lucky. I said it was not my time to go. In layman's terms, the embolism did permanent damage to my hand. I permanently lost partial use of my fingers, especially when it is cold outside. Better my hand than my head. After extensive tests, it was discovered that I had a rare blood disease since birth. This disease was instrumental in the type of embolism I had that day. I had no idea that I had this disease until I was fifty years old.
According to the doctors, I was fortunate. If the clot had traveled to my brain, I most likely would not be writing this note right now. I lived in denial about this event for about a year but finally accepted the severity of the situation after two doctors confronted me. I can be stubborn at times.
I am on medicine for the rest of my life. Every three weeks, I have my blood tested to ensure my continued place on this planet. Things become a lot clearer (hopefully) when you have an experience like this in life. You see what is truly important in life—God, family, loving others. Nothing else matters.
This is the first time I have shared my story in a public forum since my embolism happened nine years ago. I am doing so now because it is important to "seize the day" and focus on what truly matters in life.
Do what you were wired to do. I started coaching high school runners full-time shortly after the embolism event. Better late than never. Coaching others full time was always what I wanted to do deep down inside. God opened the doors for that to happen. I have never regretted this decision.
Love better. Never take anyone in your family for granted. Never. Love them unconditionally even though you may disagree with all of them on certain subjects. It doesn’t matter. Love them anyway.
Your Wife is always your queen. Your daughter is always your princess. Your son is always your prince. Love them no matter what.
Give up fear. Jump, and God’s net will catch you. Follow His will for your life; it is never too late to pursue your dreams. Forget the critics. Ignore them and carry on with your journey.
Most importantly, if you have fallen away from God, bring him back into your life. It is the most important decision of your life.