The Margins of My Mortality


Dear Ms. Feverfew –

It’s been nearly a month since I last wrote, a month full of harrowing difficulties balanced with many mighty miracles. Piles and piles of miracles, in fact. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say I am indeed grateful to be alive – ridiculously, amazingly, joyously, miraculously alive.

I am grateful the surgeon at UCLA was able to put me back together again. It turns out my case was the most difficult and complicated procedure of this kind he has ever worked on. Seeing as how he is the world’s leading expert in this procedure, that’s saying a lot. A LOT.  The first time I read through my surgical report was…well, I bawled my eyes out. There is no reason for me to have survived these past seven years, no reason other than divine providence and intervention. (And to think not only did I survive, but I earned a PhD AND had a Poppy during that time, too!!!! There is NO explanation for that other than God/Life/The Universe buoyed me up and strengthened me in ways I will never fathom.)

So what does any of this have to do with you? Not much, but everything at the same time. When I was finally out of ICU and told what had transpired, I was left to question what would have happened if I had bled out there in the OR as the mesh was peeled away from the uterine artery?  I mean, I know my family would have been devastated and I am pretty certain our children would have been the only thing that would have kept Jeff from falling into a deep depression, but what of you? Would you have been told? Would you even want to be told? I know Jeff would have sought you out to tell you of my passing, but would that be fair to you? Or would it have been better to let you discover something like this on your own terms, in due time? Would that be fair?

These are the types of questions that lingered around my hospital bed while at UCLA. I’ve often contemplated what would happen if you were the one who passed away and whether I would be informed or not, but I had never thought about it from the other perspective before. At least not in this great of detail or for such a prolonged time period.

Confronting the margins of my mortality in such a dramatic fashion has caused a transmutation of my psyche and spirit. I am only beginning to unravel what it means. I am questioning and rethinking all I have known, all I thought I knew, and all I thought I wanted to know. As I have unpacked things thus far, these four things remain constant and unchanged: My love for my husband. My love for all four of my children, including you. My love for my extended family. My love for God/Life/The Universe.

Every thing else is up for debate.

Blessings –

M.

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