Now, my dear Reader, I'll take death.
Death is a subject particularly dear to my heart. I find a morbid fascination in the subject. It entrances me. How does one die? What does it feel like? Is there an afterlife? Will I go to heaven?
When I was three months old, I had a respiratory virus. In Chicago, Illinois, on a cold, cold winter evening, I died.
Obviously, I'm alive and kicking. How? My mother performed CPR. My mother, twenty-six years old, performed CPR. She'd never done it before. She'd seen it in a magazine. Once. Her bachelor's was in math-physics/engineering, not anything even vaguely related to medicine. Amazing, isn't it?
The ambulance came and I was checked into a hospital. An hour later, they sent me back out, saying that I was normal. I was pale, sure, but it was winter and I was a baby, right? Right. However, the doctor overlooked the fact that my father may be white, but my mother is Mexican. I am not normally pale by any stretch of the imagination.
Three hours later, I had been rushed to another hospital, and my pediatrician took over. My mother was, at that point, sitting in the hall outside the operating room, when two women and a man carrying Bibles walked over. It was a highly restricted area. The women came over, sat down, and started to comfort my mother. The man took his Bible, and began to read to her.
Five minutes before my father came out to tell her that I would live, they got up, hugged her, and told her, "Your daughter will be fine." and then they left, going around the same corner they came from.
My father came out, and gave her the news. She sent him after the trio to thank them. He came back to tell her in bafflement that that hall was a dead end. The only people there were security people, guarding a patient, and they had told him that nobody had come into the hallway. They were on the upper floors of the hospital.
So, we've covered a story about dying. You know what I don't tell most of my friends. My life is a miracle. Now, to continue...
My father is a priest. He's friends with the Archdeacon of Caledonia West. His best friend is a priest too. So, this priest has a son, maybe three years my senior. Not the worst or best guy I've ever seen, but if I had ever given a damn and gotten to know him, we would be close friends. Anyway, this son, he's sweet, he's kind, he's handsome, and our parents keep trying to get us together, as in 'couple' together. Kind of ruins the potential for a friendship, you know what I mean?
I never was particularly interested in poor Timothy. He's be absolutely perfect, if it weren't for our meddling parents. Don't get me wrong, I like him and all. If our respective parents would quit trying to push me into his arms, I might actually have 'special' feelings for him, if you know what I mean. And it isn't like I couldn't get his attention. We have plenty in common.
We're both the children of missionaries. We both have a citizenship to a Latin American country and the US of A. We're both Spanish-speaking. We're both highly intelligent. And we are both apparently, to put it in modern language, 'hotties' (I chalk it up to having inherited my grandma's small waist and big boobs). He also know that provided he doesn't tell his teachers he speaks other languages, he'll get easy marks. Grades, for those of you further south. I've been known to do the same. (French is remarkably like my first language, Spanish.)
So, two months ago, I was informed that Tim might die. He had a raging case of the swine flu, and so did his parents. I got down on my knees that evening and prayed like mad. I hadn't realized I actually cared if the poor guy. He's basically a stranger, after all, however well I knew his father.
And then I realized, I didn't give two cents worth for Timothy *Snyder. He could die, and that was the root of my concern.
So, dying brings out the nicer parts of us. We've covered that. And Timothy is quite alive. Apparently he was just certified a genius or something equally important.
According to the dictionaries, death is the full cessation of all bodily functions. But it's also when the soul leaves the body, according to religious definition. Another tradition is that as long as the body is warm, the soul is still there. So, who's right? I don't know. To be honest, I don't care. But I look forward to it.
*Changed To Maintain Privacy