Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stolen Moments

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged in a long time. I'm even more sorry that this entry will not be a continuation of my hospital story. But I just felt like writing tonight, so here it is.

Tonight I finished editing some pictures from Deborah's birthday party. These are such bittersweet days for me. On one hand I feel so blessed to be alive. I mean, I didn't HAVE to make it after that rapid response in the hospital last fall. My body could have rejected the new trache, the pneumonia could have taken me out, or heck my insurance issues could have kept me in there forever (or in a stupid care facility). But instead, there I was last weekend watching this little girl celebrate her fifth year of life. A little girl that I held the day she was born. I was there the moment Bill walked into the waiting room and told us all she was a girl and that they had decided to name her Deborah Ruth Yates. Much more, I met Bill and Lori when Lori was pregnant with Deborah's older sister, Charlotte (now 8).

And it's just too amazing that I am getting the opportunity to year after year watch them get older. Now they have Andrew, one year old. There's no stopping their aging process. But them getting older, while happy occasions, are also reminders that I am getting older. And I feel like every moment is a stolen moment. I feel like I'm cheating somehow... like God extended some sort of mercy on me that I don't deserve (why should I live when so many others wouldn't have made it?). And I'm humbled. And I'm thankful, SO thankful. And I'm terrified.

I'm trying to live every moment of it to the fullest. Trying to photograph every moment. Trying to contain it for... I don't know... others to see and smile and laugh and cry and...remember. Stolen moments. All of them.

I felt like this in Seattle, too. Standing on the top deck of my Aunt and Uncle's boat. I was piloting it around the waters, around an island! I WAS PILOTING A BOAT! Hooked up to oxygen, crazy for being near water with a trache, piloting a boat. The water, beautiful, the air crisp. But in the back of my mind all I could do was worry that no one was taking a good picture of it. No one was filming it. No one would possibly know what that moment meant to me. How could I ever describe?... I'm not even doing it justice now.

Yet another moment like this was walking into Plea for Peace last Friday and seeing Dave Rocha, someone who came to visit me in the hospital a few times. He had a massive heart attack this year and scared the hell out of all of us. We all rushed to the emergency room. He was unconscious, we were all waiting to hear what was going on. Fastforward to last Friday. There he was standing at the show, waiting with the rest of us. I hadn't seen him since before his heart attack (only family was permitted in his room) and it was shocking. I ran up and hugged him and he lifted me into the air a little. I felt like this was also someone who had received God's mercy. We were members of a special club. I joked in my mind about making a facebook fanpage for people who almost died but didn't. Tossed a few name ideas around. I found myself staring at him throughout the night. Sometimes I feel like a ghost - walking around this earth long after I should have left. I was surprised to be around someone with that similar... I don't know what to call it... an aura? lol, oh Bill will kill me for using that word. But I don't know how else to describe it.

Well, I could go on and on about all the things I am so thankful for... all the moments I would never have experienced, if things had gone differently. But I really must go for now. It's getting late. Thanks for reading.