A truly different post

This may bother my wife, but I am sure that she will forgive me at some point.

Not many people were aware of Lynda’s diagnosis back in 2010. Lynda had been diagnosed with what the oncologist called a metastasis of her breast cancer to her shoulder. That meant that the cancer that had originally been in her breast, was now in her shoulder, in her bone. It had been there for over a year, but Lynda had refused a biopsy, but eventually the radiologists agreed that what we were looking at was stage IV breast cancer.

We freaked. I researched all the doctors and treatments in the US and overseas that had a possibility of a cure. and if you follow western medicine, that is not possible. According to western medicine, a stage IV diagnosis is terminal they can only buy you time at best. For those of you that don’t know, I lost my first wife, Connie, to pancreatic cancer that too, was stage IV. I was horrified, not for me, but for Lynda. Her light is just too damn bright to be extinguished this early in life, and I was determined to find an answer. At any cost.

This is when we determined that a doctor in Arizona was our best chance for a cure. He had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer, which was VERY aggressive, and had managed to get himself treated naturopathically, and had succeeded in surviving. He then went to school to become an NMD, and is now treating cancer patients in Arizona.

We left for Arizona, with our life savings in hand. Almost ninety thousand dollars. Insurance doesn’t cover this kind of treatment, so it is all out of pocket. And to this day, I will tell you the same thing I said then, “I will spend every penny I have to keep her with me”. Money, stuff, means nothing without my girl by my side, that lesson I have learned and learned well.

Lynda proceeded with treatments, and let me tell you, just because they say “naturopathically or holistically” does NOT mean less painfully. Lynda endured some treatments that were very painful. I am not sure I could have done them and I have a high pain tolerance. But she endured.

I worked in San Diego, and my boss let me work 4 day work weeks which meant I could travel back and forth to Arizona until the treatments were over. I was a basket case, as long as I was not around Lynda. Around her? I sucked it up and provided the best support I could muster. She could NOT see me in any other way except fully supportive and positive. Nothing else was acceptable.

I was getting ready to leave Arizona on my way back to San Diego. I was terrified. I was hoping for the best, and expecting the worst. I had so many flash backs of being with Connie in the hospital watching her fade a little more every day until she was gone. It was beyond words. My gut was churning, I couldn’t stay focused on a single damn thing except that I was now going to lose Lynda.. and Goddamn it, hadn’t he taken enough already? I was livid at my version of god and the universe..

He had already done this once, wasn’t that enough? I even tried making a deal, take me, load me up and clear her, and I would be good with that. Tried that with Connie, and god didn’t take the deal. She died and I was left behind. Then Lynda came into my life again, and suddenly life was worth living again, and we lived full-tilt-boogie. Now? Now it was getting down to the nitty gritty. and it looked like he wasn’t going to take me up on the offer again. sonofa…. you could see where my mind was going.. all over the place.

I was at a gas station, counting the money I was spending, trying to figure out how we could squeeze out a few more bucks out to pay for a couple more treatments, and buy more time or even a cure. I turned to my left and one of the largest black men I had ever seen in my life was standing in front of me. This guys arms were as big as my legs, and when I say big, I mean muscular no fat, just muscle. His hair was longish, with dreadlocks included. He was incredibly stocky, large enough to tackle a horse and win. My first thought was “shit, I am about to get mugged”. But in the pico second that I thought that, I actually looked at the man. I mean really looked at him. He was clean, long hair, well dressed, but what got me, was his aura.

I believe that angels walk among us, even though I am not a Christian, I do believe in a higher power, and the emissary’s of that higher power, in whatever form they choose to manifest themselves. That may make me crazy or at least a couple cans short a six pack, but I do believe that the world is stranger than we can possibly imagine. and this guy seemed to be living proof of that insanity. He positively glowed in a light I will never be able to explain.

The man began to talk, and to my surprise, he spoke eloquently, and he had a gleam in his eye that was from what I would say is his spirit, his karma. I tried to shake this image loose from my brain but to no avail, his light was that pervasive. He explained that he was down on his luck, but not in those words. Instead, he spoke of a life that had simply had some unforeseen turns that put him in  a place of need. He had been successful, but due to the economy’s twists and turns, he was on the path he was on. And could I, would I, be willing to lend him a hand?

At that moment, the world stood completely still. I mean still. No traffic noise, no airplane noise, no voices in the background. It was as if the universe was holding its breath, and how I was going to treat this man would have an impact that I would never begin to fathom. Normally? I would brush this kind of guy off, with the normal, “Nah, no extra change or bucks” and push on past him. I have done it more times that I can count. Once in awhile I will toss in a buck, but never much, and seldom give it thought. After all, most of these bums are using the money for booze or drugs, right?

This guy? I think that if I sat there long enough, I would have seen a visible light, or a halo around his head, indeed, I may have. It was not the normal “gimme” crap, this was the universe determining, no, demanding, that based on how I treated this one man, the universe would treat me. Karma was knocking and I was about to answer the door. There was an eternity in that split second of making my choice. One that for the rest of my life, I will never forget.

I looked at him and said, “Please, wait here”. I didn’t have a lot of money, and I needed every penny to try to save my wife’s life. But somehow, this guy was a test, a litmus test to determine what kind of person I really was and how I was willing to treat my fellow man.  My account had a hundred in it. I pulled sixty and went back, and handed it to him.

The response?

Beyond words. The aura that this black man put out expanded, it actually made me squint as I talked to him, and it felt as if the gears of the world suddenly spun into place, and put my life into exactly where it needed to be. It felt as though suddenly, everything that was going wrong, was now going right. My fears? my nightmares? Suddenly vanished. And as this man walked away, he looked back and smiled. It was as if the angel “Michael” himself was suddenly smiling at me and telling me that everything, and I do mean everything, is going to be all right.

Now, am I crazy? probably. More than likely. The guy was probably just a shyster, just a druggie with a habit, a drunk with a problem. But you know what?

Almost five years later, and my wife is the picture of health. And we truly are living the dreams of a lifetime. And that angel that I met?

I think he is still smiling at us, I know I certainly am smiling at him. and I am moved by a verse from a book I have read in passing many, many years ago, but I take what I find appropriate for the moment, regardless of where it comes from, and remember this verse, if nothing else, the next time you meet someone truly in need:

The Holy Bible:

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Namaste

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Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “A truly different post

  1. Wow. A truly incredible story. Very touching and thoughtful. Thanks very much for sharing, and all the best to you guys. Cheers

  2. I have been with you & Lynda on this journey from the beginning to today, & so ashamed of not knowing how bad your financial status was during Arizona, & ashamed that I didn’t help you, more.
    Your post brought tears to my eyes, & made me thank that unknown (?) man for his intervention.
    I’m so proud of Lynn’s strength & your determination.
    Bless you both !

  3. No shame necessary, we had everything we needed. our friends and their support was more than you will ever know.

  4. Roger Herbert

    Because of my career choice, I’ve been surrounded by some of the most courageous people on the planet. You and Linda are in a class of your own.

    Namaste.

  5. Thanks Roger, as I am familiar with your career choice, that means quite a bit. Hope our paths cross again.

    Erick

  6. KK

    The right words at the right time… Thank you, Erick. I carry you and Lynda in my heart so closely. I carry thoughts of Connie, wishing I had had the pleasure of knowing her. You all mean so much to me ❤

  7. Kendra

    What a wonderful story! I’m very glad you shared it with us. I’m a big believer in the “we don’t know everything” philosophy. What we do know is that you did a wonderful deed during a time of great stress, and the universe rewarded you in spades. So glad you and Lynda are taking this time together, as well. What an incredible journey it’s all been!

    • Without a doubt Kendra, I have seen things that I still scratch my head about. And the journey thus far? Beyond any words I can toss out. Look forward to stopping by and seeing you, Chris and the kids when we go through this summer… hopefully Chris will be in town.

      Erick

  8. Bill Ryno

    God truly works in mysterious ways. Nah, I believe he knows what he is doing. God amazes me everyday, and usually in other people’s lives. Thank you for sharing and give Lynda a huge hug for me. I still pray for y’all from time to time and I will continue.

  9. Thanks Billy, will do, and appreciate the prayers…

  10. Ummm….wow! Beautiful! I honestly have so much to say about this that I’m pretty much tongue-tied! Inspiring, inspiring stuff! Very serendipitous timing for me, too, which makes it all the more meaningful! That’s a loooooong story in and of itself….but suffice it to say that I’ve been feeling very compelled lately to give to pretty much anyone who’s asking (and that includes a lot of homeless folks on the street corners down here in Corpus Christi, TX). I initially had moments of doubting whether or not I “should” be doing so, but I ended up just following my heart and going for it because the feeling was SO incredibly strong. Life really isn’t worth living unless you’re giving! 🙂 I really feel like I’m finally, TRULY grasping what it means that we are all “one.” And I think I’m getting WAY more joy from the giving than the recipients are from the getting. So thanks for this additional sign from the Universe that I am right for following my gut. 🙂 Oh, and obviously, all of this about you and your wife is a beautiful story in and of itself, too!!!! Love it ALL!!! Thanks soooooooooooo much for writing all of this up and sharing with all of us! Such important stuff you’re spreading here! 🙂

    • Thank you! Most of the time, when I see panhandlers, I know that the money I hand them is going towards whatever they need in the moment. Be that cigarettes, booze, dope, or just a cheap meal. One never really knows. Usually what I offer to those I am willing to help is a meal, or buy them some groceries and just hand it to them. I often get the “Gee, thanks, but that is NOT what I was looking for look”…

      But with this guy? Man, there was simply something there that truly was out of this world. Could be I was so wrapped up in what was happening with Lynda that I let my mind disengage for a bit, will never know.. .but the truth is that here we are five years later, she is the picture of health, and we are living our dreams…

      That alone speaks volumes… I hope that somewhere along the line that you have that kind of encounter, and that it leads to exactly where you want to be.

      Erick

    • you never know who or what you might meet on your path.. and how you treat them? makes a difference in a lot of ways. But follow your gut, some are just that, shysters, but sometimes, just sometimes, your heart tells you something different.

      Listen when it does

      and have FUN in Tx!

  11. Bravo.
    The universe has a way…

  12. Hey there I am so grateful I found your blog page, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks
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