Why hello there, Death

On one of many trips from northern Michigan to the Cleveland Clinic, I was thinking about my surgery scheduled for the next day. It was one of two lung surgeries to remove tumors from the cancer that had spread through my body.

The first of these was a small mass, about the size of a dime. I had one of the top guys in the world working on me and it went great.

What really no one else knew was that the second tumor was much bigger… about the size of a walnut.

It was also wrapped halfway around one of my major arteries.

This is not cool.

So we’re driving down M-23 and I’m thinking about this and wondering if I’ll be alive tomorrow.

Then right at that moment, something happened…

I had to face death…

I was staring the grim reaper straight in the eyes… and I had to say, “ok.”

It was something I had absolutely no control over… and I had to find a way to embrace it…

not in the sense that I was “giving up the fight,” but more of just accepting the truth that I might die… and that it was ok.

That was almost 4 years ago now and I’m realizing how much truth I’ve missed in other areas of my life too.

The voices in my head have told me many lies over the years and I’ve believed a lot of them…

Most of which are about the imagined trajectory of my life (if i were to do this or that…)

or that certain parts of me don’t exist or that I can control them…

or selling other people short…

or that conflict will always end badly…

or that I won’t die…

I’m just now finally discovering the real truth.

The truth that the only way to be a hero is to dive headfirst into conflict. The truth that other people are more wise and compassionate than I think. The truth that there are parts of me that really suck… but it is me nonetheless.

The truth that I’m going to die.

Maybe today… who knows?

I hope not though, because I’m really looking forward to lunch tomorrow.