Struggling for Life
Years ago, many years ago, about 60-years to be precise, I saw the movie, Miracle on 34th Street. It was about Kris Kringle's struggling to reach out to others. Fred Gailey, who is Kris' friend, said, "Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to." Miracles can happen if one believes. It was true in the movie 60-years ago, and it is true today on another street called Doubletree Drive North.
There was a miracle on 8355 Doubletree Drive North. In an attempt to save several dollars, I decided to paint the deck in the back of the house. I painted nearly the entire deck and saved some money.
However, I accidently fell off the ladder and caused a subdural hematoma, which is basically bleeding in the brain. The neurosurgeon told my wife that I had a 50/50 chance of making it through the surgery...let alone getting back to normal. To be honest with you, I do not recall the fall or the 4-weeks in ICU and intermediate ICU.
In addition, while I do not remember this next episode either, I did not want to be in the hospital. Once there, I wanted out. Okay. My brain was swollen, and I might not have been thinking clearly at the time. Nonetheless, I did not want all the tubes in me. I thought that getting out of the hospital was my only means of survival.
Do you see the round dot in the middle of my head to the right of the stitches? It was a drainage tube to remove the blood in my brain. However, I wanted out of my confinement. Consequently, I pulled out that drainage tube and other things like IVs during the first week in ICU.
While looking at this in hindsight, a person with a brain injury is not the best judge of a good idea, nonetheless I wanted to survive. It was a miracle that I survived the fall and surgery. In addition, I also survived my attempt to leave ICU. All human being along with all animals possess within them the instinctive drive to survive.
Moving away from humans and animals, all life forms have an instinctive drive to survive and prosper. Case in point. This is the driveway of the house where I live and fell off the ladder. Do you see a miracle in this picture? No? Well, it is there.
Look at the curb area. Do you see it now? If you look at the center of the bottom of the picture, you will see it. A marigold is struggling to survive.
This is a close-up of the curb area. That marigold came from a flower box about a dozen feet to the left under the mailbox. I plant marigolds there every year. However, one seed last fall blew off and landed in a small amount of dirt. This spring the seed bloomed. The flower had within it the urge to survive as a plant and reproduce. One seed survived and started to grow between the curb and the driveway.
It is interesting that both I and the marigold's efforts to survive might not make good sense. I pulled a tube out of my head and a marigold attempted to grow in a busy driveway. Nevertheless, that is not the point.
Interestingly, after taking the single marigold in the driveway, I noticed another survivor. This one was nestled between the mailbox and the planter.
It is interesting that both I and the marigolds' efforts to survive might not make good sense. I pulled a tube out of my head and a marigold attempted to grow in a busy driveway next to a mailbox. Nevertheless, that is not the point.
The point is we, humans and flowers, possess the instinctive drive to persevere and survive against all odds. Therein lies a parable for all of us. Stand up, suck it up, and live...in spite of the odds.
I am 71-years old. With good luck, I might have another couple dozen years left in this world. After that, the odds of survival are against me...totally against me. Therefore, I have a clear blueprint set before me. Live and survive now. What happens tomorrow or the next decade is undecided. What you and I have to do is to survive now.
That drive to survive can be seen in newborns as they enter the world. That same drive can be seen in old people trying to survive in wars overseas. While we have the life within us...use it and live.
You might enjoy the Miracle On 34th Street.