Friday, May 09, 2008
Latitude of Gratitude
It looks like I started this blog in December 2005, shortly after moving to Long Island. I really thought it was started before this but that's what the archives say. I can look back and see such changes and turmoil. It's funny too to look back at those archives and see that quite often I would type in caps because I could see it better. I'd had the same glasses for 5 years and I do believe I was in serious need of new ones. I really stopped typing in caps when my Mom finally broke down and told me that when you typed in caps, it is considered "yelling." I did a lot of yelling back then...
But this blog was created for gratitude and "We" all need to be more grateful, huh? I am guilty of looking at my life, as this rough road or possibly even feeling sorry for myself. I'm real good at that, actually.
I do suppose, if we spent more time in gratitude rather than attitude, we'd get some where, huh? I tell myself this or rather, I remind myself to stop all the belly aching and look at just a few things, possibly in a different light. After all, life is perspective, is it not?
I could start with the fact that in 1998 I was told that I had Hep C. I was all ready to die as I'd seen the devastating effects of the disease. Yes, my own husband succumbed to the rigors of this ugly life taker.
In many respects, I started dieing then and there. I mean, we're all dieing but this is also a matter of perspective. Surely, if we lived our lives as if we were dieing very soon, things would be different. If we said the things that needed to be said because we thought we'd die tomorrow, life as we know it would change. But we go on, with our everyday lives, our little routines thinking tomorrow will be there. We are not promised tomorrow, now are we?
It was then, in 1998 that I started my campaign of death but not in a good way. You might say, I went off the deep end. Oddly enough, I was dieing from the effects of Hep C, it was just going to take a minute. I was sick but had to work and had no insurance at work. I made too much money to qualify for Medicaid and was stuck in a rut which may have allowed me to die.
Yes, gratitude. How does one become grateful for going to Prison? Because of this campaign of death, my behaviors led me down a rather dark road. I was walking on the edge, leaning out, ready to fall, falling and not trying to catch myself.
A culmination of behavior, speckled with a cry in the dark, saved my life. I couldn't see any of this, at the time but even though I'd let go of Jesus' hand, he was still there. Yes, when I cried out for his help, when I was at the end of my rope, a chain of events began to come into play.
As I stood on that bridge, in the middle of one of the worst snow storms, the area had seen, ready, willing and able to end my life and the rancid days I was living, Jesus was there, even then. Dope sick beyond dope sick, I was out in this storm. I had to steal $50 worth of meat, on one side of town, then walk to the other side to sell it for $25, enough for one bag of heroin. No one was out, even at the bars and I was lucky enough to have sold the meat to the bartender just as he was about to close the bar. The hill to my dealers house was so steep, I kept sliding backwards. I hurt so bad, flu like symptoms x 10 fold, my stomach was cramping and the diarrhea was liver bile and it burned. I had to hold it in as I made my way on this trek through a blizzard.
My junkie husband waited for me to arrive back with that one bag, we'd share, which meant that there was no relief for me, no not until I got home. How much further could I sink before the fires of hell would consume me? As I stood on that bridge, watching the ice jams and wondering if it was cold enough to take me under the minute I hit the water, I found myself, in auto-pilot and had thrown my one leg over the bridge, ready to go through with this and end all this pain. My mind was as numb as my body would soon be, once I hit the water.
As I grasped the bridge to pull myself up, out of the corner of my eye, I saw headlights approaching. "Crap!" I pulled my one leg back over and righted myself, standing still, hoping whomever was in that car would not have seen me, maybe not even notice me. As the car approached, driving cautiously, the driver made eye contact with me. He smiled the warmest smile and winked.
As I watched him drive off and go around the corner, I fell to my knees and cried out, my "Silent Scream," heard in the heavens, from the depths of my soul. As I began my walk home and up the steep hill to my home, I prayed for help. A real prayer, real emotion, real conviction for real help.
He threw me in Jail and then on to Prison. He saved my life and He loved me and held my hand through it all. He comforted me as I went through the grueling Interferon and Ribiviron Treatment for six long months, injections in my stomach. Yes, my Lord gave me the Gift of Life. He heard my cries and He answered my prayers. That Gift was not wrapped up in a pretty box with a big red bow, no, it was better than that.
How do you become grateful for going to Prison? It's in the Latitude of my Gratitude...