Sunday, February 20, 2011

The value of friends

For as many wrongs that I have committed; I have done one thing well and very right. I have "collected" the most amazing group of passionate, intelligent, moral, just, loving, caring and thoughtful people on the face of the earth.

Be it sailing, racing bikes, triathlons, writing, consulting, or living - the friends and support that I have leaves me both speechless and breathless consistently and constantly. Thank you.

I have received emails and calls along with live conversations from and with friends that have brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart and consistency keeps me humble and in awe.

If we ever wonder what makes the world go round, the day keep going or the sun rise when we are blind, crippled or without a voice? It is love. I wrote a note on Face Book last week about how do you explain something that you know and feel, but words do not do the beauty of the knowing justice. I received posts from friends far and wide ranging from scientific to gnostic, but the closest to what I was looking for was sent as a private email. In this email pictures were painted of rivers, accomplishments and the beauty of life, but the flavor it provides when shared. Thank you KP.

Love, passion, devotion, commitment; the simple gesture of holding a door open with a smile, the pleasure of giving without expecting receipt of anything in return. I had a dear friend point out that "most of my life has been surviving", this was their observation in regards to the amount of time I have spent in hospitals around the world. Yes, I agree - A LOT of time has been invested in hospitals. I say invested because it was while I was laying paralyzed that I truly learned how to feel. It was while I was entering the living from being in a coma that I learned how to hear, it was while I was laying on my back with tubes down my throat forcing my to breath and my heart to beat that I learned how to talk.

I learned the beauty of life at my lowest moments, my worst pain when I was almost to the point of loosing the strong grip on life that I have always maintained. I learned that a simple stranger who is in the hospital and has visitors that gently squeeze your hand when they are leaving is a lifetime of conversations. I learned the simple ability to hear angels as someone reads to you with tears rolling down their face thinking that they will never be able to talk to me because I was in a coma. Yet I did hear. I heard angels, when I was hugged I could smell the ocean in the tears.

I have been in many hospitals, but after thinking about the months, possibly years of accumulated time I realized I have been blessed. It was not time spent in hospitals, it was an investment in my future. Earlier I posted a blog titled TANSTAAFL, "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch". I had a lot of lessons that I was taught when I was younger, unfortunately for many reasons I did not learn them. But, I learned many while laying in a bed, limited by the straps or tubes. Limited by my ability to respond.

When I was diagnosed with FAP I sent an email daily to friends and family so we did not have to discuss "how I felt", I wanted to talk about anything, just not ever how I felt. I also had a reply to everyone who asked "is there something I can do to help"? Yes, was the calm response with a smile. (If anyone has one of these emails from 2003 if you could send to my FB page I would appreciate). "Yes, you can; you can smile at someone who you would never have noticed and change their day, you can do something that you would not normally do that will help someone and you can do something to help make the world a greener place".

I find it interesting as I pause and look back over these simple questions with a smile. I was asking for energy to be transfered to the world, to the universe and I did not even know it. I thought I was asking people to "pay it forward" as there was nothing that I needed or that could be done for me. It was my battle and I wanted to prove that I could beat it. I received letters from DC, the Senate, House and White House from people I had never met. I had touched their lives through others and through a simple prayer circle in Washington DC I reached the Capitol, and their love for an unknown soul reached me in Boston through calls and emails.

I had an engaging and beautiful conversation with the same friend as above about spirituality and "what did I believe in" because I call myself Spiritual and not Christian. I have prayed with just about every type of religion and have realized in my travels around the world that when we ask for help in bleak moments it does not matter what we are as far as religion. I have received prayers from Islam's, Hindu's, Christians, Taoists, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, INCLUDING agnostic and atheist (yes they asked for strength, that to me is a prayer) and just about every sect and of religion on the face of the earth from Africa to the U.S. to Saudi Arabia, Korea and Islands I can not spell. I have been truly blessed. But these blessings are not mine to keep, they are mine to give away as energy as Volonte' in a smile, a kind gesture, a way of being.

What was the picture that I was trying to say with words that must be said but words do it no justice? Love. The energy you feel when you walk into a room and you "feel it" in someone before you see them. That feeling of goodness and things that are right. I am trying to find every-way possible that I can increase the size of the wave that was started with my first visit to the hospital as a child, create a tsunami from a pebble, a groundswell a movement.