“A Gift from Heaven”
Welcome to the Flipside,
Recovering from liver and gall bladder surgery is a colorful blend of searing pain, delusional fatigue, and utter exhaustion, but you will find that the most delicious of fruits are often protected by a spiny, painful armor and the reward inside once reached is euphoric and well worth the laborious struggle to obtain it. Life is exactly that if appreciated, euphoric. The simple, beautiful, intricate things we overlook everyday can be so amazing if the time is
taken to observe, taste, touch. After six and a half hours of surgery, and twenty nine and a half hours of recovery, the suction tube that ran down my nasal passage, through my esophagus and into my stomach was finally pulled. To say I was “all there” or “with it” at this time would be a downright lie, but the following experience I will no doubt remember for the rest of my life and hold a dear place in my heart. That very first “sip” of cool ice water as it hit my lips, slowly rolled over my tongue and was ever so gently swallowed was a precious moment I could only describe as “A Gift from Heaven.” A glance to the other side that I could live and enjoy right here, right now…. and the amazing thing is there are billions of other simplistic objects, emotions, sensations in our lives that can be enjoyed just the same if given the opportunity. So I ask you, my reader to sit back, take a deep breath, relax and just enjoy something simple for a moment. Just for a moment take in something small in your life, take in the energy around you and feel whole, feel centered, feel alive. Just take a breath before moving on…
Hopefully, I lost some of you to a short day dream, the touch of a cool desk surface in a warm office, the gentle pitter patter of rain drops on your window, the comforting laughter of a loved one in the room next door. Hopefully, you experienced life just a little bit better for a single moment… If you did, you can start to get at the roots of my perseverance through this storm. You see, it’s not the experiences I have already had that I fight for, its those amazing experiences that have yet to happen that will never let me quit. There are countless memories to be made, with the people I love, the people who love me, and the people who have touched me so deeply that they will forever be my army of strength. There are so many simple delicate intricacies of my future life that I yearn to share with you… I can visualize these moments so vividly that I can almost taste, almost touch, almost smell, almost live…. I will never let go until they come to fruition.
When I tell you that your prayers, comments and messages make me stronger and drive me harder, it is not out of courtesy or out of respect. It is because you just added one more beautiful visualized experience to my future. You added one more root to my tree, you truly gave me a reason to live. You see, you are my Army because with the strength you give me I will overcome any obstacle in my way.
Much Love – Teej
Alexandra Harte-Newby October 26, 2011
10/10/2015 11:26:16 am
TJ, I don’t know you personally but I went to middle school with Angela and have been keeping up with your blog. Your strength and spirit are amazing and a real inspiration. You will no doubt beat this and inspire so many along the way. Take care and know that so many people stand with you during your journey
joe roller October 26, 2011
10/10/2015 11:27:49 am
John Hawley October 26, 2011
10/10/2015 11:28:58 am
This is a great post – you sound like Ekhart Tolle in “The Power of Now” (an amazing read). Best wishes from a guy you don’t know!
Andria Rose October 26, 2011
10/10/2015 11:29:31 am
Joanne Fanelli October 26, 2011
10/10/2015 11:30:02 am
“You see, it’s not the experiences I have already had that I fight for, its those amazing experiences that have yet to happen that will never let me quit.” You are truly an inspiration TJ and I continue to keep you in my thoughts and pray for you that you will get to experience everything it is you want in life, no matter how big or small the experience may be. Thank you for reminding me of the simple things we so easily forget, you amaze me.
Liz Macone October 26, 2011
10/10/2015 11:30:27 am
Your description of the water brought back vivid memories for me. When the surgeon came into my ICU room and told me they were taking me back for emergency surgery, I told him NO! He told me I would die without the surgery. I told him that we could negotiate a deal. I will have the surgery if he will let me have a drink of gingerale. Oh, the sweet taste of cold liquid going down your throat after being deprived for days is pure heaven! It truly is the simple things in life that will make us smile. I am so happy that you are back with us, we missed your blogs and words of inspiration and wisdom. Take the recovery slow and easy and keep you mind in a good place. I had a great friend help me with a daily upbeat card. Your mom is wonderful and you are very lucky to have her for your support (along with the rest of your family)
Julie Widett October 26, 2011
10/10/2015 11:30:47 am
Hey TJ I was anxious to hear how you did and it sounds like well. You are amazing and after reading your blogs I have had a new perspective on things. We do take alot for granted and get upset about the smallest things. People should wake up and smell the roses and count their blessings and just enjoy each day. Each day is a gift and for us that are not struggling with a challenge we should heed all your wonderful advice. Life is a blessing and we get out of it what we put into it. Thanks for reminding me how special life is. Stay in there and get better. Julie
John Urban, Sr October 27, 2011
10/10/2015 11:31:10 am
karen kiepert October 28, 2011
10/10/2015 11:31:33 am
That’s one heck of a manly looking scar you’ve got there buddy.
Dave November 5, 2011
10/10/2015 11:31:57 am
Hi TJ, It has been a few weeks since the surgery and I hope you are bouncing back quickly! It is amazing the little things in life we take for grantit. On of the most basic of compounds H2O – 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom without it we would not survive. The will to fight, the spirit to win, the drive to succeed are also essential to our survival! You have them all plus all ouf our support, positive vibes and prayers behind you!
7/6/2022 09:29:17 pm
Awesome blog you have heree
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