Remembering 38 years ago at this very moment when my life hung in the balance and G-d gave me everything I needed in order to make the right decisions to save my life.
Sometimes seemingly little things can be huge.
If it were not for my fourth grade teacher reading to our class the book “The Yearling” where the father was struck by a rattlesnake and had to keep himself very calm in order to save his life, I would not have had the presence of mind to calm down during a very scary medical crisis that left me bleeding profusely. The providence of G-d to put that experience in my mind 13 years before I needed it has always filled me with awe and fascination.
I have since learned that He does that with a lot of things in our lives that prepare us for those moments when nothing else will do.
It took me nearly 5 months to recover physically from that night which changed my life forever. I spent the summer lying in bed being tutored in chemistry with a focus on nuclear chemistry. That knowledge enabled me to get a job in food service when my marriage disintegrated, gave me what I needed in order to understand the problems presented by the Chernobyl and Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear crises many years after that, and continues to underpin everything I do in nutrition and medicine.
I do not begin to understand the principle that sometimes saves the life of one person while taking the life of another. I have pondered that question often over the years, certainly since that very difficult night. To me, all of life is precious and everyone deserves to die full of days, but the reality is frequently much different.
I am always aware that the days are short and there is much less time in front of me to the day I will understand than there are days behind me when I have not understood. I draw comfort from that and am eternally grateful to be alive. But my heart still weeps for the one who is not.