Birthdays vs. Near Death days

Thanks for all the birthday wishes today.  In addition to birthdays, there’s another day I’m going to start celebrating.  April 10th.

On April 10th, while bicycling at 35 mph, I was struck by a car.  I was lucky, breaking my arm, slicing my patella tendon (good for a dozen stitches) and bruising my back.   Just 6 inches to the right, though, and I would have avoided the collision altogether.

Then again, just 6 inches to the left, and I would have rammed my face into the side of an SUV — at 35 mph.  Imagine running as fast as you can and leading with your face into a brick wall, and you’re about 1/3 of the impact we’re talking about.  I’m pretty sure I’d be left with some combination of coma, paralysis, reconstructive surgeries, or death.

There’s nothing like a brush with death, a burning of one of my nine lives, to bring some things into focus.  For me, I don’t think the universe was trying to tell me something.  But I heard something anyway.

What I heard was that life is damn good.  Regardless of finances, piles of laundry to do, rude salespeople — daily annoyances large and small — this morning I got to watch a woodpecker out my window.  For that matter, yesterday I got to do laundry and deal with rude salespeople.  What a gift versus my alternative!

Birthday celebrations are in essence a celebration of survival.  You made it another year!  But from now on my Survival Day is April 10th.

5 Responses to “Birthdays vs. Near Death days”

  1. Alice (Foote) Fazel Says:

    Are you trying to make your Mom cry? I’m so thankful you “survived”! You’ve done an outstanding job with this particular blog post, expressing your thoughts on appreciating life … as you’ve discovered, things can dramatically change in the blink of an eye. So blessed to have you in my life!

  2. Lance Murphy Says:

    Congrats on making another year. I understand you now having a better view of life.

  3. Martha Collins Says:

    Nice blog post and glad you you survived.

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