Today, a friend asked me:
“Name something you did today with all your heart.”
It was an easy question to answer.
Today I wrote some words about another day a few years ago – the day I decided I wanted to be alive for the rest of my life.
I was about halfway through my radiotherapy treatment, and the most ill I’ve ever been. Three months of chemotherapy, a stem cell harvest, blood transfusion, six weeks away from my family and a very nasty case of shingles on top of everything had pulled me down further than I’d been in my life, physically, emotionally and mentally. I honestly felt like dying was a reasonable, comfortable option, if going on living was going to be anything like that.
I slept – thank God, I slept – and dreamt of swimming. I swam laps and laps, up and down, all the time watching the bottom of the pool, wondering what it would be like to live down there. After swimming laps in my dream for what seemed like hours, I wanted to stop and just rest a while.
At the end of the last lap I don’t tumble turn, instead letting myself just sink into the deep end. I slowly drift to the bottom, unafraid, happy to be at rest. I stop breathing. I let my arms and legs just hang there. I close my eyes and start to drift off. Just what I need – a long, long sleep.
I am startled by a sound – a voice – a muffled scream. I feel a boiling in my throat. It’s my voice. I am screaming.
I shake myself awake from the dream. It’s not my time. This is not when I get to stop living. I must keep on being alive, and only I can do it. Keep swimming, keep going. This will not last forever. Keep breathing. Don’t sleep now.
I dredge my soul up heaving from the bottom of myself. I know it was close, as close as it gets, but here I am.
I love today, every today, because every today I am here to write about that other day when I had the choice whether to hold out for a day like this. I will never cease to be astonished at how bright and close every day is to me now. I don’t have to swim so hard anymore, but the practice has made me lean and strong. Strong enough to hold my own, and others’ too. Strong enough to bear to remember when death whispered in my ear and made me think that sleeping would be better than waking, sinking better than swimming, dying better than surviving.
Name one thing I did today with all my heart?
If you like this post, please *like* it here, and share it on Facebook. You can also Tweet it to your friends.
And please leave your comments on this post below.