November 19th, 2019 is a date that I will always remember. A day where my first real life epiphany occurred. This day was supposed to be a new chapter in my career. I was headed to the hospital in Jacksonville, Fl, for a common baseball operation called “Tommy John” surgery. Most times, the surgery occurs in pitchers. I had recently just started pitching and was learning all types of stuff about arm care, but my body couldn’t adjust in time. This surgery was a pivotal point in my life and baseball career. This was supposed to be the start to my ultimate comeback and the beginning of my college baseball career.
I suppose on this particular day, God had other plans. As every surgery requires, I had to go in to the hospital a day prior for pre-surgery rehearsal. I was asked all kinds of questions and given all types of instructions. One of the questions happened to stand out to me in a peculiar way. I was asked, “do you have any anesthesia allergies?”. I thought this was a trick question so I giggled and answered with, “I would hate to be the guy that answers yes to that question”.
Fast forward to the next day, I’m about to go under. My surgeon comes in and says he’s about to take me back and to say goodbye to my mom. I could already tell my mom was nervous and her instincts are always right, so I was nervous too. I proceeded to tell her that I loved her and I’ll see her in an hour. Next thing I know, I’m dozing off and eventually pass out.
Two years prior to this date, my step father had passed away from a heart attack. It was a tragedy and a beautiful soul taken too soon. His spirit has kind of always lingered with me since then, I feel his presence every now and then. After being put under and falling asleep, I figured it would be smooth sailing. Wake up in an hour high as a kite with a brand new UCL? Living the dream. All of the sudden I wake up. When I woke up, I was playing basketball with my step dad. Everything was sort of bright and beautiful, like a movie scene. I’m dribbling the ball and Mike is guarding me, just like old times. As we continue to play and have a good time, I notice him sort of fading away. He’s still guarding me and I still feel his defensive pressure, but he slowly backs away. He then looks me in my eye with this special gaze of his and says “Your time is not done, you have so much more”. As he continues to fade I can view myself on the operating table. I start to see memories and flashbacks of every right and wrong of my life. All of the times of tragedy; my mothers tears after eviction, my brothers tears after seeing his mother cry. All the times of joy and pleasure; my mothers tears after my high school graduation, my brothers voice on the phone after his little brother finally made his dream come true. The smile on my mothers face when she was with Mike.
My entire life was seen through my eyes as a movie was on a screen. I then focus back in on myself on the table. I’m shaking and screaming, why am I doing this? I don’t know what I’m feeling at this moment, but I know I’m confused. Am I dead or alive? What world is my conscious in? As I ponder these deep thoughts, I feel myself transition into the screaming man on the table.
I woke up on Earth, screaming and crying. The most emotional moment of my life was when I woke up on that table. I watched an entire movie of my life, front to back. I was able to see myself from an outside lens and ask myself, what do I want from this world? I realized in that second that I would never take one more minute of life for granted. The epiphany I had was this; life is meant to be lived fully. Before this occurrence, I never was able to see the true beauty of life. I took my family for granted, friends, and all other things in life that make life beautiful. I was an entitled kid who knew nothing about what life was. I’m still a kid who has no clue what the world has in store for him, but I do know one thing. What we have in this world is an opportunity. An opportunity to live each day with the idea that it will be your last. Spend that extra time hanging out with momma, don’t miss that concert for your daughter, hug that person with intent. I had no idea that my life was so precious until that day. I knew nothing about anything, I was just going through the motions. I now realize that my life can be amazing if I live every day like I knew I could die that day, because I already have.