“Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” - Eckard Tolle
Today is my first day out of intensive care unit (ICU) at Lankenau Medical Center after 52 days and therefore the first day my wife has allowed access to my computer in nearly 8 weeks. If you you have been wondering why I haven't responded to your messages, I hereby submit the following Lame Excuse.
Earlier this summer my mother had graciously provided each of us with matching tombstones next to her and dad's at the family graveyard where Larimer residents date back to 1840. I hadn't been planning to check in quite so soon.
But, on October 13, 2018 I had a "mild heart attack" which turned into a massive heart attack while they were putting in the stents to open 3 clogged arteries. Boom! I was suddenly dependent for my life on exotic machines with names like ECMO and Impella. Frantically laboring doctors put me into into an induced coma. I woke up after four weeks unable to talk due to a ventilator hole in my throat wondering what had just happened. I lost a whole month - unaware of the passage of time. I have been working my way back to normalcy ever since.
They are treating me as a miracle here at the ICU - Some say my combined probabilities of survival were under 20% . I certainly consider it gift from God, and have been grateful for every new day since..
“To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause...+ Hamlet, William Shakespeare.
During my four weeks of unconsciousness, I was however quite busy in a parallel dream world that substituted for my reality. I didn't see any white lights at the end of a tunnel, I just continued on in my role as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the US military. I was focused on development of a new class of warship called Hyperion class able to interface to sea life telepathically. I can still hear their haunting beeps (which now sound suspiciously like the beeps of medical equipment around here). I even published Steemit articles on some of my exploits. Everything was so real it's still hard for me to believe none of it happened.
I'm not dead yet!
Having looked at death up close and real personal, I have a new perspective on what is important and new chances being given me. First, I must rehabilitate a body that can't walk due to weeks of bed-ridden atrophy.
I'm behind on team communications, of course, but have the impression that they carried on without me just fine. What a relief it was to know that they had it all under control, but it taught me another lesson - that no one is essential to the work before us. Not even godfathers. Life goes on.
Ah, Are you digging on my Grave?
"Ah, are you digging on my grave,
My loved one? -- planting rue?"
-- "No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
'It cannot hurt her now,' he said,
'That I should not be true.'"
,Then who is digging on my grave,
My nearest dearest kin?"
-- "Ah, no: they sit and think, 'What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No tendance of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death's gin.'"
"But someone digs upon my grave?
My enemy? -- prodding sly?"
-- "Nay: when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie.
"Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say -- since I have not guessed!"
-- "O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog , who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?"
"Ah yes! You dig upon my grave...
Why flashed it not to me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog's fidelity!"
"Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone, in case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
I am sorry, but I quite forgot
It was your resting place."