Life. FCBEdamned life. Perhaps Forrest Gump’s mom was right, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”
I was scheduled to leave Europe on Monday and head back to Los Angeles after several months abroad. Bittersweet? For sure. As much as I love the conveniences of home and the safety of routine, traveling is a drug and I am an addict (please read my next still unpublished blog…written but not yet posted, coming soon). Alas, it is a Tuesday evening and I am still here in London.
Missed my flight and all.
On Sunday evening, the evening before my flight home, I went to bed and woke up in a UK Hospital Emergency Room. I do not remember most of it. The story goes that I woke in the middle of the night, fell right over a coffee table and face planted right eye first into the corner of either the coffee table or radiator (blood spatters are currently being investigated by Dexter). I was staying with my daughter Rosie and her man Nathan when they heard a thud. Thinking I was just getting ready for my early morning flight in a loud (and rude) manner, they thought nothing of it until they looked at the clock and saw it was 2am…4 hours before I was to get up.
They jumped out of bed and saw me leaning against the radiator with blood everywhere, while kneeling in a pool of it. I was out of it…as if I was the recipient of a circa 1995 Mike Tyson blow to the face. I do not remember the paramedics arriving, nor the ambulance ride, nor the emergency doctors examining me. My first recollection was when I felt a needle go through my skin over my right eye, 17 or so stitches to close up a bleeding and gaping wound.
I lay in a hospital room as I begin to come to consciousness. I recollect the man across from me was screaming in pain. Dejected, sick and hurting people were all around me. As the morning progressed, I began to make sense of things. As my eyes first opened I saw my daughter Rosie and her man Nathan, gently touching me and loving me, the look of concern on their faces. I looked them squarely in the eye and told them both how much I love them
What you must know is it is not necessary for Rosie and Nathan to see Rosie’s dad in a puddle of blood to come to life and nurture and assist. Since my September 5 arrival in London, they both have been here to serve, assist, love on and just hang out with me. The fact that they were both there for me in my hour (minute?) of need is only symbolic of who they are as people.
Do things happen for a reason? NO ONE can know the answer to that question though I tend to be on the “no” side of that equation. However, if events do have purpose (after all I have been known to be wrong from time to time) I have a pretty good idea of why this happened -please indulge me on this one. The last few months are a time in my life when I have come to the stark realization that I am in a major life transition.
I blogged about these things before, yet this week’s events confirm all I have said.
Life is coming full circle. It seems the first third of our lives -or so- we are dependent on others for nearly everything. Of course that changes greatly from the first part of our first third to the last part of our first third….but I think you get the point. Our second life third is the time when everyone is dependent upon us: Partners, children, aging parents, etc…yet the final third of our life we begin the reverse process: We begin to become reliant on others once again. Like returning from whence we came.
Now, to be fair, I am not quite in the process of my final third -at least I hope not- and many still do depend on me, yet that corner is turning and I see it as clear as day. On the final night of my 3 month journey of discovery and change while teaching and traveling throughout Europe, I made myself completely vulnerable…literally bleeding out to death…with the only hope of salvation becoming completely dependent on the actions of others. My blood representing spilled life -my life energy gushing from body- with only the hope of others. When the others are your offspring and her partner, you realize the wagons have turned and here you are.
I hear the inner voice, “Get used to it buddy. And thank FCBE you have the good fortune to have the others in your life.”
I now look in the mirror and see a broken -literally- man with a black and red eye, a swollen forehead and a look of defeat -at least physically. Yet if you look deeper you see a man who is changing, knows the change, feels the change, and, yes, even welcomes the change. I welcome the beauty of a new season and the challenges it shall bring.
Oh, and did I mention I am deeply in love with my daughter and her man? Deeply, and man I mean freaking deeply.
I read a meme on Facebook today that said, “Crying is not a sign of weakness, it is sign that you have been strong far too long.”
The last 24 hours I have lived that meme. I have cried. Not due to any physical pain but due to the realization that my love for some people in my life runs deeper than I could ever have known. Or imagined. Or realized. Wow do I love Rosie and Nathan. Wow do I love my family. Wow do I love my life partner. Perhaps crying is perceived strength leaving the body while the tears make room for the real strength of love and humility.
Sure in life we never know what we’re gonna get, yet I know what I got in my family. And, at this vulnerable moment in my life, nothing else really matters.
I am still in the UK attempting to get clearance from the medical authorities stating it is ok for me to fly.
So I wait…at Rosie and Nathan’s London flat of course. Feeling overwhelmed, in some physical pain, but full of love and gratitude.
(Afterward: I am now back at home in Santa Clarita both waiting to have my stitches removed and for Rene’ to get back from the UK as she came out to check on me. I look forward to her return on Tuesday. Damn life. You just never know what you’re gonna get. And maybe that is why I love it so much.)