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Fireworks and feeling like a kid

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Hi All

Here is my SparkGuy email going out tonight:
**

Hello SparkMembers

I hope you had a great week! Today I'll share a story about an experience I had over the summer when I attended a minor league baseball game with some friends.

This was the first baseball game I had attended since my surgery. The combination of fun with a great group of friends, the sights and sounds of a minor league baseball game, the surprisingly good burgers, and even one beer, all combined to put me in a great mood.

At the end of the game, there was a good fireworks display. The combination of the good night already plus the fireworks really hit me. I stood and watched the fireworks, truly enjoying the show.

Afterwards, one of my friends (a really good MD) said, "you watched those fireworks like you were a 5-year-old kid."

I responded that after going through a potential life-or-death experience, I really do feel like a 5-year-old kid appreciating experiences like this.

We talked about how surviving my surgery (especially with no lasting effects) really was a gift that most people don't get to experience. Now I'll be able to keenly appreciate many so-called normal situations in life.

I have a friend from high school named Missy who survived a car accident with a brain injury a few months before my issue. We motivate each other on our recovery. I told her this story and here was her response:

"Oh my gosh I completely get it. My son is a sophomore in high school and plays for the football team. After the game they did a fireworks show at the high school over the field. I think it was the best fireworks display I've ever witnessed and it's because I saw them through different eyes this time. I caught a glimpse of my husband watching me watching the fireworks because I was so into them and appreciating each one. You definitely see life through a different lense after something so traumatic."

I'm not sure if there's a real way to mimic this -- since I did have about a 3-hour period where I had no idea whether I'd live or die from my brain issue. This was the time in between a CT scan in the Emergency Room that just showed a large mass in my head to travelling to another hospital via ambulance for an MRI that showed the details and a neurosurgeon told me he could take this out with surgery that ended up being fairly complex.

Maybe you could try to visualize being in my situation if you'd like. Or some other situation. Or visualize the real situation that we'll all "go" at some point whether that is decades from now or being hit by a bus tomorrow. My entire situation starting with a seizure happened with no warning while I was walking down the street towards my car to drive for 2 hours. It could have happened 10 minutes later and I might have died without getting a chance to say goodbye to my wife and kids or anyone else.

If you'd like to make this an activity (I understand if you don't), just think about what it would mean to suddenly die. How would you live your life differently if you knew the end really could happen soon?

To get back to being positive, I hope your answer is that you'd be grateful for the gift of each day (even ones that have extreme challenges). I'll give you a hint: if the next time you have to do something that now seems boring or routine and you excitedly embrace that task, then there's a good chance you are on the right track :).

This is a fun message for me to share today because this coming Wednesday, October 2 is the 1-year anniversary of my seizure and Friday, October 4 is the anniversary of my successful surgery. All of the doctors said it would take a full year to really recover from the surgery and I now understand why they said that. I moved faster than they expected, but definitely realized limitations in things like my stamina throughout the year.

Now I'm looking forward to the gift of each day of the next year!

I hope you are too? Let me know below.

SparkCheers!

Chris
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MYBESTLIFEISNOW
    Chris, you are such as amazing human being. So glad you got the gift of continuing good health because of all of us, you will definitely make the most of it.
    3 days ago
  • no profile photo ALEXISSCORPIO
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    8 days ago
  • I.M.MAGIC
    I really do know what you mean! In 2010 I was diagnosed with colon. I just whizzed through the surgery, and the two year recovery period~ without chemo or radiation, because I have kidney disease... and I was in remission for NINE WONDER FILLED YEARS!
    I just had a reminder, which included surgery for endometrial/uterine cancer. Same scenario! I'm currently in the monitoring phase of remission... Amazing. Life is filled with some startling and awesome adventures, in all the simple things... have you ever really looked at the rainbows in a soap bubble? LOL
    I am LIVING!
    Kathy emoticon emoticon
    25 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    35 days ago
  • LKWQUILTER
    I agree with you Chris. Appreciate every day as a brand new day with new things to see and do. ((HUGS))
    39 days ago
  • JSTETSER
    Happy Birthday to you! emoticon emoticon
    40 days ago
  • NOLAHORSERIDER
    I have a philosophy to enjoy each day God has given me. Life is really too short to have regrets. Tell everyone you love them each day. I wear a smile every day, no matter how badly I feel. A smile can say a million words. I love that you truly walk your talk and I love your positive attitude. You are an inspiration to me for sure. I recently lost my husband of 16 years and I still have days that I cry. I know it is part of death and dying to have days of being down. I don't linger there. I am usually a very happy person and like to spread happiness around.

    Thanks so much for sharing your awesome story. I look forward to your blogs because they inspire me.

    SparkHugs,

    Nola
    40 days ago
  • THROOPER62
    emoticon
    41 days ago
  • CAROLJ35
    You call SP "a small company" but I wouldn't since it reaches soooo many people and does such a wonderful job. When I say I "dieted" for some 60+ years unsuccessfully, then joined SP in 2008, lost 50 lbs. in 14 months and have kept that weight off for 11 years, I consider SP to be a very important company regardless of the size!
    THANKS, SPARK GUY!
    41 days ago
  • ILOVEROSES
    emoticon emoticon
    42 days ago
  • HARRIETT14
    I am so grateful for each day that I wake up from my nightly sleep. I'm happy for your recovery and your friends. You are an extremely helpful person to many people who follow your program.
    43 days ago
  • DETERMINEDLOSER
    I am so grateful that you survived and you have had a positive outcome. I can really relate to your blog. I also shouldn't be here. In February of 2018 I was diagnosed with a rare disease that affects my whole body, but mainly my heart and lungs. I wasn't suppose to make it through the day when I was admitted to the hospital and here I am 1 1/2 years later. There is no cure for my disease and I was given approximately 5 more years to live in 2018. the only thing that might help me eventually is both a heart and lung transplant. I totally have a different outlook on life and don't sweat the small stuff. Every new day I see things that I haven't seen before. I appreciate so much more and don't take things for granted. My whole outlook on life has changed. It is almost like you have been blind and now you really get to see things and feel so blessed for just being alive one more day.
    43 days ago
  • NOLAHORSERIDER
    You are an inspiration to me. Congratulations on your drive to succeed.

    SparkCheers,
    >Nola
    44 days ago
  • ALIHIKES
    Another great blog, and a reminder to all of us to enjoy and be grateful for our family and friends, and for the beauty that surrounds us. I am so glad that you survived the surgery and the brain tumor. You are right, each day is a gift. Let’s enjoy those fireworks and ball games!
    44 days ago
  • ZYNDALL
    Awesome
    44 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    emoticon beautiful.
    45 days ago
  • USMAWIFE
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    45 days ago
  • PRAIRIECROCUS
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    45 days ago
  • CATBELLY
    I know exactly what you mean. I've been in your shoes - not brain related but respiratory. I marveled at so many things after that event, saw the essence of every living thing. May you continued to see and feel.
    45 days ago
  • NASFKAB
    What an inspiring post. Glad you are much better.
    45 days ago
  • SPARKFRAN514
    A share we can return and read when we want to quit and forget the joy of finishing our journey you inspire so many to just keep moving thank you emoticon
    45 days ago
  • KITTYHAWK1949
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    45 days ago
  • GGRSPARK
    I appreciate your perspective but my way is to be glad to be alive always. I am kinder now since my husband’s cancer journey and happily go out of my way to help others, especially if they are in a wheelchair, using a cane, or need a little help... I
    45 days ago
  • GRAMMY065
    Glad you got a second chance-for our sake too! emoticon
    45 days ago
  • AZROSEZ
    Getting a second chance at life does certainly change the perception on life.
    45 days ago
  • LSANDY7
    My DH was about 3 days from dying from a bilateral subdural hematoma (bleeding into the space between the skull and the brain) when he had his surgery. Most fortunate was the slow seeping nature of the bleed and my insistance that something wasn't right with him and getting him to an urgent care center on a minor holiday (Veteran's Day of all the irony-he served two tours in Nam). His mantra these days is "Any day you are above the grass line is a great one." Your recovery is inspiring, just as my DH's is too. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    45 days ago
  • TERRIJ7
    This is a great exercise. Thank you for bringing all of us into your story, Chris.
    45 days ago
  • DRAGYN5
    Craig,

    You are a very lucky man and I can relate! Most of my family dies either before 55 or before 70. I'm 57 and I have passed one milestone and I intend to pass the next one! Although, I know of friends that have gone young and I wake up each day counting my blessings. Yesterday, I had a rare opportunity to just lay on a blanket in a beautiful park in Palm Springs, looking up at the leaves on the trees, listen to the birds sing and feel the cool breeze, it was glorious! I'm a wedding officiant, I "marry" couples every day, I do vow renewals and I realize just how special my life is and I'm also married to the love of my life for over 19 years. Life is short, live each day as if it is your last!

    Take care,

    Heidi
    45 days ago
  • MARILYNS481
    God is good - you are one amazing man - love reading your updates and am so pleased to be a member of Sparkpeople - thanks so much for all the work to make such a great website.

    46 days ago
  • POLSKARENIA
    Coming through traumatic ordeals gives us a different insight on life.
    Go you!
    46 days ago
  • BASEBALLNOLE
    I too love fireworks they are so magical. Usually the wait is forever, but I have never regretted it - and congrats on the year anniversary.
    46 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    My out-of-body experience, leaving and coming back changed me forever. It happened in the 90's.
    46 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    Another great blog, thank you for sharing!
    46 days ago
  • MOOMSHINE
    Thank you for being so openly honest with your experience. Congratulations for sush a speedy recovery. Best wishes for continued success!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    46 days ago
  • SKMINNY
    Just the thought that u might not b here would b devastating to a lot of people . your site has transformed millions of people.. and for me this is so.. I have been here since 08. made a lot of changes in my life.. i lost my sister due to a asthma induced heart attack . She was 59. We had plans that didn't get to happen.. Each day is a gift. Bless u Chris and your family making it thru hard times and u have made it another year!
    Keep on Sparkin! emoticon
    46 days ago
  • PLCHAPPELL
    Great story - so glad the ending is happy
    46 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    Inspirational blog. emoticon
    46 days ago
  • 130GRETL
    Spark Guy -
    What encouragement.
    When you know the end could come at any time. You can enjoy each moment you have. You can also chose to make the largest impact, the biggest splash with the time you are given.
    Thank you for creating SparkPeople and the impact you have had on millions of people.
    Keep on Sparking! Cheers! emoticon emoticon
    46 days ago
  • 130GRETL
    Spark Guy -
    What encouragement.
    When you know the end could come at any time. You can enjoy each moment you have. You can also chose to make the largest impact, the biggest splash with the time you are given.
    Thank you for creating SparkPeople and the impact you have had on millions of people.
    Keep on Sparking! Cheers! emoticon emoticon
    46 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    emoticon
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    46 days ago
  • ROCKYCPA
    emoticon emoticon
    46 days ago
  • PATRICIAAK
    Happy upcoming anniversary.
    Mine as a cancer survivor will be 2/1/20.
    46 days ago
  • JANIEWWJD
    May God continue to bless you!!! emoticon
    46 days ago
  • DEE107
    way to go
    46 days ago
  • WALLAHALLA
    God is good!
    46 days ago
  • MSROZZIE
    emoticon for sharing your journey. Time is on your side, and your healing after surgery continues on. You are a walking, talking miracle! What an inspiration. emoticon emoticon
    46 days ago
  • MARKSMOM3
    I get it! Keep enjoying every day of the rest of your life!!! emoticon
    46 days ago
  • CHRISHARP
    I feel we are all blessed to have chance to change our lives for the better. I have a second chance after a car accident which was not my fault. I had to learn how to walk again. I am glad I joined spark people because of positive feedback from all of you.
    46 days ago
  • HUNGRY519
    My SIL died instantly in an explosion at his job site (Oct. 31, 2018). My daughter and her three sons were deeply affected, and so many other people include my husband and I. We expected him to walk through the door any moment. It has never happened. We are all so much more closer to God then ever. My daughter has had to "change" in may ways. Every day is a new day. Enjoying it to the fullest.
    46 days ago
  • ALEXSGIRL1
    Chris what a great blog and i understand a little i am slowly losing my sight and sometimes the sky is the bluest ive ever seen and when i glimpse a bird on my slow walk you could have sworn i won the lottery . I really wish more people could really appreciate the life they have no matter how good or bad without almost dying or losing their sight of course, keep sharing your message and gift and thanks for all you do for us here,
    46 days ago
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