by Brian M. Hayes
A passage from the upcoming Short Story: “Seven and a Half Minutes to Life – a Green Beret’s Journey from the Battlefield to the Emergency Room and Beyond”
6 months ago today, YOU SAVED MY LIFE.
It is a tragic and yet profoundly fulfilling statement to make that somebody had a hand in helping you cheat death; of allowing you another opportunity at life. We take a lot for granted in the world today but nothing is more precious than the life you have been given.
I know this. I was dead for seven and a half minutes on 9-11-2020 and now laying here in this bed I realize that life will go on with me present because of what YOU did that day.
It was not by accident that we met over 40 years ago at a time when we were both too young (17/15-year-old teens) to realize the impact we would have on each other’s lives. But for that brief moment and the times that followed, you never left my mind.
You were always there…
I would run by your house when I was home from deployment “just to see” if I could catch a view of you, not even knowing if you were even there anymore or what had happened to you.
Reunited nearly seven years ago through the “miracle” that is social media and the whirlwind that is dating in your 40s and 50s, you were back.
The ups and downs. The tears and the laughs. All of it
You saved me then and you didn’t even know it. I never told you–until now.
Then came the night of September 10th, 2020. I called to tell you that I was in the hospital – I didn’t feel well. You made me promise to call you in the morning to let you know that I was OK. I never made that call.
You were persistent, you always are, and you kept calling. You were the reason the nurse answered the phone as I lay there taking my last breath… dying.
You were the single person that got my sons engaged in the fight. You made sure they knew where Ian worked and he was dispatched to the hospital before I died.
And he called Jake.
And I remember you being there with them when I finally woke up.
You drove that day to be with me–600 miles.
You saved my life, and I will forever be indebted to you for that. Merely saying thank you to the person who saved my life seems to fall far short in comparison to what you did for me on September 11, 2020.
It’s a debt that can never be repaid. So I say thank you; for being persistent; for caring; and for never leaving my side. It is not taken for granted, I promise you.
If you see this woman today or in the future please know.
SHE SAVED MY LIFE.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on April 27, 2021.