Sunday, August 8, 2010

Matters of the Heart

Palpitations, lightheadedness and fatigue have been a little worrying. Two abnormal ECGs this past Wednesday and Friday honed the worry into fear and even, at times, panic and a sense of doom. An echocardiogram tomorrow will reveal the truth. Is all the fear for nothing? Is it a minor problem? Is it a major problem? Is it a deadly problem?

Mortality is a fact of life. Nothing is certain except death and taxes, as the saying goes. How should knowledge or even the hint of a more specific threat to my life change the way I live?

As I lay in bed this morning, greeting God and a beautiful new day while snuggled next to my sweet sleeping daughter and husband, I knew the answer.

The facts are these: God has always known the number of my days, and only He knows it. Life by its very nature is fragile and could always end or change dramatically at any moment, despite our typical illusions to the contrary. Pookaloo’s accident, my father-in-law’s recent illness and surgery, and my grandmother’s recent shoulder-breaking fall have taught me that much.

Therefore, my choice must be to fight the feeling of doom and live as vibrant and full a life as possible with as many days as God has seen fit to give me. Whatever the diagnosis, it must always remain merely one piece of information to be considered in making wise decisions, not the ruling fact of my life.

This choice is one that must be made repeatedly: each time I feel another palpitation, each time I feel lightheaded, each time I get winded too easily. Perhaps I will reach a point where these episodes don't make me stop and question whether I'm experiencing my final moments on earth, but for now they do. As long as that is the case, it is the gift of faith and hope to acknowledge that feeling, let it go and press on to focus on the present, on the mundane and glorious details of every day life.

1 comment:

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