MY World Turned Upside Down – CM#4of10

I was an inch away from death. My lungs were ripping apart within me. Could this be the end?

Over the next several posts (or so) I will share ten childhood memories
and lessons I glean for today. 


I was an inch away from death. My lungs were ripping apart within me. Could this be the end?

Okay, maybe this is a bit dramatic. but I was a young teenager and aren’t all teenagers a bit into drama – one way or another? Anywho, this is about my brush with death. The afternoon was normal, nothing scary, no impending death omens to notice, no black dogs following me, no crow cawing in the background. And then it happened. I accidentally swallowed my lifesaver (and the name lifesaver is a bit ironic in this story.)

I have never really been able to get through a lifesaver. I’m kind of like that owl that is counting how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. I still to this day will chew mints, cough drops, etc long before I should. So, I swallowed the lifesaver and it didn’t go down. I began to choke. Gagging. Hacking, Gurgling. Nothing helped. The Heimlich was not really out there yet, so I stood there in the middle of the church hallway with my skin turning blue.

I thought this was the end – never would I see the end of middle school. My fate – death in a church hallway. They could just have the funeral here without having to take me to a funeral home. Would people miss me? Would my brothers even know I died?

Then my hero – my true to life emergency care taker – my father emerged from his office. Having heard the ruckus (my extremely loud ruckus) … ruckus, a cool word, where does that come from? ruckus … extreme amount of ruck … oops, back to the story.

My solid 6’2” father emerged and grabbed me. He tossed me up a bit and flipped me upside down. He grabbed my ankles and began to shake me up and and down … up and down … up and down. What an embarrassing way to die?

Then … air … my lungs felt fresh wind being sucked through my windpipe. The cherry red (yes, I remember) disc with a hole in the middle, had been shaken loose and now was rolling to a stop on the cool linoleum hallway floor. Life.

I know, I know. I wasn’t close to death. But it did scare me a bit. I didn’t eat mints for quite a while. And I gained a deeper appreciation for my father’s strength that day.

But I learned a lesson … even to this day I remember. Sometimes circumstances seem to be choking the life out of us, sometimes we get into a very hard situation – and it might take a tru upside down shaking way of thinking or way of responding to get us out of the life sucking situation. Drastic changes are sometime needed to remedy what we are facing. New job. Changing our life habits. Whatever.

Don’t be scared of change – realize it might make things even better – even if the change seems to turn our world upside down.

Get used to different. It might be the best thing to happen to you.


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