It’s funny how being told you have a 50/50 chance of living affects how you view life in general. For me, the biggest impact has been on my driving habits. I drive slower.
I always used to complain about slow drivers and inevitably the majority of the people that I was complaining about and giving the evil glare were older at least in appearance. When I say older I mean senior citizens, the people that you perceive as closer to death. Just stating facts here.
Right up until the day before I went into the hospital I remember both thinking and saying out loud, “You would think old people would be the ones that drove faster, because they has less time left and should be trying to do as much as they can.”
Well, being told you are going to die actually doesn’t make you want to go faster and get more done at all. Your life may flash before your eyes right before you die, but all I want to do at this point is slow down. I want to relish every moment, every breath, every detail.
The fact is detail fades away the faster you go. Everything becomes a blur, flashes of light and streaks of colors. I have no desire to do that anymore. I have no desire to go fast and get more done. I just want to go at a pace where every detail sinks in.
Your mom has told me more than once, actually more times than I could ever remember, that my attention to detail sucks. It is the pace that I had a propensity to move at that had a significant impact on it. I moved at a pace that caused the details to become blurs and flashes.
I think I already may have mentioned that the hardest part of being in the hospital and not being well was missing hockey games. It wasn’t just missing the hockey games, because even when your mom made it better by Face Timing the games, it wasn’t nearly as great as being there.
I couldn’t see your smile on the ice son when you scored your goals or went to hug your teammates. I could see the sparkly eyes baby girl, when you inevitably would ask for a treat. I couldn’t see that look on Mom’s face when she had to run to that late third period in a close game potty break that sometimes was baby girl just being bored more so than having to go.
Now that I am back at the rink, even that nasty hockey smell is awesome. The disappointment in the losses really isn’t all that disappointing. My appreciation for all the work and effort you have gone through to get to where you are son is greater. My appreciation for your mom letting me be by myself to watch the game in the corners while she manages you baby girl is greater.
Lastly, I drive slower.
I appreciate the opportunity that I have to observe the world and see things clearer. I know that I am less likely to have an accident too. I truly appreciate knowing that an accident could take me away from both of you. While that day will inevitably come, I am definitely not in any hurry to get there.