The Things I learned in Hospice

I have yet in my time on this planet or in any other dimension for that matter, found a more powerful energy than lifting up another human being…period

Even when i was deathly ill, battling a bone marrow infection in the Tuberculosis family, having lost over 80 pounds of weight. I had some good days although rare.  The irony is I was drawn to volunteer on those days.  With little strength, and even less of the “good days” I still was drawn to go help where I could and wherever I could.  The risk I took everyday without an immune system to just being around others is staggering but yet it never even dawned on me….Why?

On a cold spring rainy day in Burlington Vermont while battling End Stage Aids with zero immune system. I found myself standing at the Special Olympics watching the most beautiful thing I had even seen.  The pure, unfiltered joy of children laughing and giving it there all.  Pouring ass rain and all there was were smiles. or at least that’s all I can remember from the long day at that track.  I was inspired by a friend and I dragged myself there but found once i got involved with helping out, I no longer was sick. I felt like the luckiest man in the universe to have been able to scrape what little energy I had to get there and witness such beauty.  I was stationed as a volunteer at the finish line on the track.  My assignment was to gather all the finishers and escort them to the medal stand.  What a job for anyone right?  Holy Cow !!!!

Can you see it…standing at the Olympic size running track finish line seeing the faces and feeling the energy of each participant crossing the “finish line”.  OHHH MYYYY…
I’ve seen a lot in my years as an Army Veteran, even more as a cop.  I’ve lived a great life and seen miraculous things in remarkable places.  But standing there that day in the pouring 50 degree day.  There was lite.  More than I can possibly explain.
I told very few about my intentions that day. I wasn’t even sure what they were.  But as always, without expectation I found more than I bargained for.  At that time in my life….that was enough.

and YES of course I got sick the next day.  Pouring rain and End Stage Aids.  Yea, you wonder why I didn’t tell anyone my intentions that day.  But the question I still ask is this.  In spite of the great danger in a time when i should focus on resting, why was I …

constantly called to help others? When ever I could, for as long as I could, as hard as I could.!!!!!!

I think it speaks volumes really in how I was able to overcome disease after disease, illness after illness.  In the last two years since the book, Ive had MRSA twice, Shingles for the fourth time, the flu, two heart procedures, brain surgery, rhabdomyosis, and countless other ailments and I got through them all.  A miracle?  hardly…but consider this again.  I did it with 1/3 of a normal immune system.  hey, 1/3 is better than where I was that cold ass day on the track volunteering for Special Olympics while fighting for my life.  I had zero immune system then.  

Pneumonia followed right behind it after that day but I got through that too.  Without antibiotics just like MRSA and every other thing.  You see I am allergic to nearly every major antibiotic on the market.  They send my body into such reactions its nearly crippling.  So all the while I continue to heal from things without a fully functioning immune system, WITHOUT THE USE OF ANTIBIOTICS.…..WHAAAAAAT…yea its all possible.

I don’t do any special diet…in fact I eat like shit.  Rarely do I have an appetite but when I do it follows cravings and I listen.  I don’t eat much, a bi product of wasting syndrome, a common affliction of people with aids.  Weight is life for me.
I don’t do any special meditations…in fact I struggle with traditional anything…but my sunrises and sunsets would blow your mind.  lol  Those are my moments…but honestly I have moments all day usually where I drift off.  Never to far away from my daydreams I always find gratitude and I can literally hear my cells sing.  Speaking to each other by and through my emotion.  

(I will note this.  Im insatiably if not near ridiculously addicted to the outdoors.  From sunrise to sunset it is where I like to be.  I try to indoors, but inevitably i find myself back outside…I just think its important to note that…for what its worth._

Look, I don’t pretend to be an expert…ON ANYTHING…but I do share whats happening and what I have done to survive things most just don’t understand.  Hell I am not sure I even do.  But I can tell you the truth.  let you find your own conclusions.  Which after all, are the most consequential anyway.  We have to have our own experiences…Something must create, spark and fuel an emotion.  Without the emotion, rarely are things ever impact-full or even remembered for that matter.  So in a world teaching us to hide our emotions I say this…Resist this conformity…PLEASE.   I honestly believe that the moment vulnerability became a weakness in this world, the whole world got cold….and angels wept and we got sicker.   It is not just important but critical that we understand emotion and the very power within.  

I tell you one thing I have learned from my time in Hospice and beyond…there is no greater force of energy than that created when lifting up another human being.  Its nearly so easy and simple we’ve nearly missed it.  I believe it helped me survive.  I know it did,  and it has become a mantra ever since.

It will become difficult to explain what happens when you sign your name into Hospice and you prepare for your death.  Suddenly your whole perspective becomes about others.  Regardless of the selfish asshole you were prior…Trust me, I know.  But even my ego asshole self found the only thing at the very end.  Was the feeling, emotion and connection of every human being along the way.  ME wasn’t the concern.  THEM was…Everyone!!!  Everyone I met and still today everyone I meet. 

If there’s ever a question about my passion for connecting others…for helping where I can and when I can…know this…I am a selfish bastard when it comes to my philanthropy…the real truth behind my selfish self is this…I HELP EVERYONE I CAN, AS LONG AS I CAN, and AS HARD AS I CAN”….because it keeps me alive without an immune system and severe allergies to antibiotics….HA
Imagine that!!!!

I hope your day is filled with the connectivity so dearly needed in a world getting more and more scared.  FEAR none of it and embrace it all.  EVERYONE has a gift….

Be SELFISH about it if you must…but do what you can and it is returned…
Love and lite to you all..

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“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

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