Two Perspectives on One Life-Changing Event
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
“Remember last year?” my mother asked, grinning cheerfully, as we entered the great lobby of Roy Thomson Hall. My apparent look of deliberation led her to continue. “Remember… last year, you know, when we attended this very same conference?”
“Oh! Yeah,” I laughed, wondering for the first time what her experience had been at this same conference last year. It had been only three months since my heart transplant and it was essential that I secured a seat near the exit and as far from the masses as possible. Arriving a day ahead of the crowds, under an umbrella of uncertainty, my post-transplant shakes were relatively under control and the overwhelming pain I had fought in March and April had nearly ceased in May. Still, transference of infection was a huge concern for my transplant team at the time, and, as I was beginning to realize, for my mother.
Under the strictest advice NOT to go near crowds, I could not resist attending the Hay House presentation of I Can Do It! in Toronto. My eagerness intensified when a reply from an email letter I had sent to my favorite inspirational author suggested he wished to meet me at the conference, and continued to build as I began the process of guiding my book to publication.
I was geared up and ready for a 48-hour learning marathon. If the doctors only knew, tee-hee. This was one of those glorious moments when excitement reigned over exhaustion and even pain. Sitting at the front of the room, as far away from the crowd as I could (an impossible task in an overcapacity hall of at least 2,000), I covered my face with my cotton scarf and settled into my seat.
With a poised charm, the man himself, Wayne Dyer, opened the show. Hunger, discomfort, and fear melted away as Wayne discussed his philosophy of life, his own health, and his family. Morning transformed into afternoon, and afternoon into evening. As we filed out of the great hall, I noticed only the sun shining and the flowers blooming. I felt stronger than I had in many years. Since our hotel was just a city block away, I happily walked from the conference hall to our hotel lobby. This is where I was to meet Robert—the inspirational author—and I could not have been more excited.
For me, the incredible energy of the spirit revealed throughout my 48-year journey had culminated. The conference of 2012 seemed like the threshold to my new life. I was meeting like-minded thinkers, fellow wellness authors, and felt incredible! I could see the beauty in the journey of aches and pains, and even the replacement of the beautiful heart that had kept me ticking for so many years. This insight was pure bliss. Beyond any shadow of doubt, I knew my story must be shared.
It’s funny how family members can often recall life-changing events completely differently. At this year’s I Can Do It!, my mother’s reminder of the year gone past brought this to full realization. Like my transplant team, she had seen last year’s conference as a transplant hurdle where tragedy grew in every corner and crowd. Her cautiousness allowed me to be triumphant.
The life of an athlete is no different than the life of a patient. Each strengthens, builds, and finally runs. The only difference is the location of the race. Great athletes surround themselves with cautious family, thorough trainers, and respectful friends who enable them to do what they must do. We, my cardiac friends, are athletes. We know our strength, we build our endurance, and at one point or another, we run the race of our lives. Whether we cross the line first, last, or not at all, we must believe in our ability to do all we can not only to survive, but to thrive.
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