Why Not Me?

“Live life to express, not to impress”

I am unable to tell you the details of the entire story that I might share. However, my wife, Melanie, tells me that when we arrived at home after four months of being in hospitals and rehab, that I was like a new baby in a full-grown body. Apparently, I was full of wonder in the discovery of who I am in the world and in my precious family.

As I have come to understand some of what happened, I have learned that I was faced with a little-known autoimmune disease that beset my brain and central nervous system. Evidently, “only ONE person in 10 Million” experiences this particular malady. That ONE person is ME.

On August 19, 2016, I was “not myself” — growing increasingly incoherent with garbled speech, until Melanie raced me to the hospital where I was taken directly to the Emergency Room. 

However, notwithstanding my substantial memory losses, I do vividly recollect an hour-long, in-depth conversation that I shared. It took place some time later, when I was recuperating for several weeks at a local rehab hospital.

I and a fellow patient (I’ll name him “Sam” for now!) found ourselves talking about why each of us was here and about why I myself was abiding for weeks in a rehabilitation hospital.

Upon hearing that “1-in-10-Million” statistic, Sam asked if I had ever wondered ‘Why Me?’.  “Humm, Why Me?” I answered, “No, that notion has never occurred to me”.

Sam then remarked, “PenDell, I see your beautiful, loving wife staying with you here in the Rehab Hospital, day in and day out; and your grown children calling regularly. You have many friends who come and visit you here, as well as people sending you cards, donating in your honor.

After a moment’s poignant silence, Sam lamented, “I wish I had that much love around me. Fact is, I just don’t know — nor do You, my friend — what day will be the last … for anybody …”

For a fleeting moment, I thought,”My brain might be in scary, uncharted territory, health-wise”. Then, upon releasing that conundrum and taking a long, deep breath, I became quietly aware in the moment (as if being imbued with a higher knowing) of a new mission & purpose for me now.

“Sam, my friend,” I replied, “What I do know is that I am here and I have a story to tell! I will do all that I can for others to uplift, to inspire, and to make as much of the life that is mine to live now. So, Indeed — Why NOT Me?

What any one of us can do, in fact, is to stay steady when facing life-changing circumstances. And, while doing so, we discover an ocean of blessings flowing in.

I was, and continue to be, so deeply grateful for each and every one; my faith in Mankind (and Womankind) continues to grow greatly — Again & again, with each glorious day granted.

12 thoughts on “Why Not Me?”

    1. Thank You, John, for your radiant Self and your steady support, as always —
      Onward we go apace, albeit piece by piece (for “piece” sake)! — PenDell

  1. Love your story and the warm engaging spirit in which you so openly share it…I closely followed Melanie’s powerfully beautiful but at times heart wrenching blogs of your illness and healing journey and spent many loving moments with you both in my thoughts and heart throughout. Now coming to today sharing your sparkling and light filled words is joyful indeed…love you my friend.

    1. Warm Thanks to You, Kinga, for your presence and your “many loving moments” which ongoingly abide in Melanie’s and my thoughts and hearts (regardless of any momentary locales and time zones).
      Joyful Are We Indeed! — PenDell

  2. PenDell, I feel joy in reading your words. I experience you in this way as a man who is truly “letting Thy will be done.” And as a man who is present to NOW. What a gift!
    I’ve also had experience with my brain that is not very common. Due to an injury, I found I could not perform common tasks like using a telephone. And I had the very uncommon experience of fugue states in which I sensed presence in two different places at the same time. These states were usually followed by headache and extreme fatigue. I learned to just relax and let it happen. My point in sharing this is that we are so much more than our earthly experience. Since this experience with brain injury, I have been gifted with a peek into the « beyond » that is humbling and hopeful at the same time. I suspect you have experienced this « beyond «  also. Peace be with you my friend.

  3. I find your true story inspiring. I am glad you are doing well now and able to share it. I think the most important thing anyone can do here on earth is share their heart! You have always done that before your hospitalization and continue to do that. Thank You!!

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