I won’t ever forget that morning, that moment won’t ever fade from Memory Lane… why… because that was the morning, the moment when I actually feared death.
This mind of mine has had it’s fair share of fears, most conquered, a few not so much. But, death…that was one aspect on life I never feared, most likely due to the life I was dealt coming into this world. If anything I had always focused on the underlying humor of death, I mean c’mon, none of us make it out alive anyways. If nothing else there are two absolutes that are iron solid in this life, birth and death. Everything else sandwiched in between is question marks.
That morning though, there’s a certain realness that rushes through your veins as you picture your nonexistence. I have only been under the weather a few times growing up and into adulthood, but this time something was off, something felt very wrong. Reluctantly I had my doc run a blood test and sure enough I was right. Damn, the one time I wanted to be wrong.
8:30 am…sitting at the doctor’s office waiting to be called in. Empty stomach and caffeine level at zero, I sat anxiously trying to distract myself with conversation. My parents accompanied me to this appointment for support and then we were going to grab some breakfast after. Before long my name was called and now I found myself still anxiously waiting but in a much colder atmosphere. (Quick tangent, why are doctors offices so cold? Seriously, its summer and I need a parka while I wait.)
With all the doc appointments I’ve had over the years I have never seen that perplexed of a facial expression on any doc’s face than I saw that day. She didn’t know how to start, she didn’t know how to exactly ease the info she had into her “Good morning Derra.”. Admittedly, I wasn’t anywhere prepared for the words that spilled from her mouth. “We ran the test several times to ensure the results were accurate. Your iron level is so low that I honestly can’t explain as to how you’re, well, still alive. I am truly baffled. Any normal person would have most likely gone through the stages of their organs shutting down and then go into cardiac arrest. Yet, here you are, breathing and with color in your cheeks no less.”.
Now I’m going to be honest here, I was amused by the fact that no one could explain how I was still breathing. In my head I’m thinking to myself, “I should be dead, but I’m not and the experts can’t explain how or why, holy shit.” However, that amusement ended abruptly as my ears heard the words, “cardiac arrest”, “iron tranfusions”, “steroid shots”, “hospital”. My mind blanked out everything else.
In shock and trying to at least absorb a few pieces of info that were just stated, I got into the car with my parents and off we went to go grab breakfast. As we arrived at the restaurant and got out of the car, my body froze. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, all I could do was cry and all my body could do was tremble. There I was standing next to the car in a Denny’s parking lot scared to death that this was the end. Take note guys, nothing good happens before coffee and pancakes. Nothing.
After some composure was captured I had breakfast with my parents, we talked and then I spent that entire weekend researching. I researched everything, from dietary changes to vitamins to even a PAS as a worse case scenario. After two days of staring at a glowing laptop screen my vision was blurred and my mind was racing. I needed a break, I needed to breathe. So, I went to my happy place…the beach. There is nothing more therapeutic than sand and ocean. There I was able to breathe, to clear my head and figure things out.
If this was truly it for me, if my time here on earth was over then there was only one step to finish, I needed to write letters. Four letters to be exact, Ma’…Dad…Lu…Zac.
Headphones on, tunes blasting, notebook and pen in hand…here we go. These letters were the last step because I already had beneficiary papers filled out and signed. Even had a DNR signed in my medical records, just in case. Once I turned 18 I took care of these things because, well, you just never know.
Writing those four letters were even more therapeutic and so I continued to write. Before I knew it those letters snowballed, writing one to my past self, my future self, other family members, friends, my future hubby (why not, right) and even my biological father.
It’s crazy, but death inspired those letters…and even though it was my Ma’ who suggested I turn the letters into a book, death inspired that to. In a fleeting moment of fearing death for the first time in my life, I found a new beginning. I was nervous submitting Dear You out to different publications. I can’t tell you how many times Lose Yourself by Eminem played on my phone, seriously I lost track. But, in the end it was picked up and now here I am, an author of a book. A book about my life and my favorite humans. Here I am healthier than I’ve ever been, so healthy in fact that it’s sickening, it really is. 😜
I too am baffled as to how I’ve survived everything I’ve gone through, physically and mentally, in this life. I’m even more baffled as to how I survived that defining moment in my life and there are times, especially during that infamous 2 am hour, when I struggle with the unknown as to why I’m still living. It can’t be for myself because, maybe I’ll keep the rest of that thought to myself. Am I still here residing on this earth for something else? Someone else?
Ahhh, it’s already 2:41 in the morning, I should try and catch a few zzz’s.
Death, it’s funny.
Death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit… -Twenty One Pilots