Those of you who have known me for at least 2 years will remember I had a near death experience in December of 2007. The last thing I remember happening that year before going into the hospital for a month was Thanksgiving dinner at Michael's house. So, this holiday is tinted with other meaning for me.
After close to 2 years of healing I can say I am thankful to be alive. I am also thankful for the numerous people who helped saved my life.
First, there was George, my neighbor, who 'knew something was wrong' after not seeing me for 5 days and finding me unconscious, so near to death that my imagination was sending me pictures of myself already dead and his wife Betty who insisted I might still be alive and calling 911. Then there was Micki, the chaplain on duty who held my hand and kept vigilant eye contact with me while I was being wheeled around the emergency room, all the while unconsciously deciding whether I was going to stay with the living or pass over to the other side.
I am thankful to Tina, Suzie, Sandy and Joan and Michele (who drove all the way from San Francisco) for bleaching my house and disposing of everything tainted with the bodily fluids of my dying process and to Tina again for asking my mother to buy me a new bed. I am thankful to Dan, my old boss, for getting a hotel room for my mother and brother during that first weekend when no one knew whether I was going to make it or not.
During that month in the hospital so many people came to visit me. I know now that all the love and attention is what helped me decide to stay with the living. I am thankful to Carole for getting the Buddhists to pray for me, to Amy for playing french music on her accordian, bringing tears of joy to my eyes. I am thankful to Jennifer who brought me her lucky chinese dragon jammies and later when I could eat bringing dinner and setting a little table so we could eat together. I am thankful to Michele who brought me silly things and made me laugh. And to Maram, who decorated my room with Jewish stars and read me poetry when I couldn't read myself. To Lisa, who lent me her vintage Avengers videos, and to Lanier who fed my cats everyday for a month.
I am thankful to Candy who brought me magazines and lattes and later when I was home her amazing homemade corn chowder. And to Joan who came back up from San Francisco and stayed with me for 2 weeks, shooting me up with antibiotics everyday.
I am thankful for finding Bean, the neuropsyche lady, who became my therapist and continues to lovingly listen to me every week. And to Kendon who asked people to bring me food when I couldn't ask them myself. I am thankful to Pam who wrote me everyday for 6 months and called me as often as she could.
I am thankful to Suzie who went to every doctor's appointment with me and wrote down all the facts. And to Tina who paid my bills and took the brunt of my negative emotions and who continues to give generously of her time to our undefinable relationship. I am thankful to Alice and Gaylyn and Jill for visiting me whenever they could and spreading their brillance throughout my hospital room.
And I am thankful to the nurses and doctors who cared for me like it wasn't just their job. And lastly I am thankful to 'the Gauds' who have been with me through out this process which I now understand to be a soul retrieval. I thank you all for loving me and not letting me leave planet earth just yet. I am forever grateful for your love. You are the village that has helped to resurrect me.
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