Seasons

Hindsight.

How its presence looms large in our lives. Its capacity being that of a wise teacher…for when we fail and even when we succeed. Hindsight offers the opportunity to look back upon our actions (in seasons past or present)…and learn something no matter the situation.

So, you’re asking, what does hindsight have to do with seasons? Well, the seasons I wish to write about exist in two realms.  The first, and most obvious, are the seasons we delineate on our calendars. The second, these are the seasons of our lives. Childhood that leads us into those difficult teenage years. Young ambitious adults transforming (we always hope) into spouses, parents, and yes…leaders and teachers passing along stories of their own seasons. There’s a season for those fortunate souls whose dreams of retirement and daily life on their terms come to fruition. And our final season, with manner and time be damned, exists as one of humanity’s thoroughly inevitable tragedies.

The current calendar season and the season of my life seem to have had a head-on collision. Parts of this collision exists as interesting statistics while another leaves me heart broken.

This season of life and calendar procured the means to remove a friend from my life. If you encountered this friend, you would witness a normal healthy lookin person. Inside however, my friend is in pain (in all manners)…and truly in need of help exceeding anything my seasons of knowledge could ever touch. Guilt now engulfs my soul as I relive the “unsolicited advice” encounters and the explosive reactions they would illicit. My concern for the health of my friend, my self-declared wisdom (hindsight) garnered over many seasons of life, and the unfounded belief my friend respected me as a mentor, convinced me I had the right to offer advice. Contrarily I would drive a wedge between the two of us. Hindsight has since convinced me…my words should have remained inside my mouth…unspoken. This friendship…I had established what I believed a fatherly position, as a source of knowledge and assistance, proved grossly inaccurate. The cliche says, “Time heals all wounds.” I hope and pray this is “Truth” and not simply “Urban Legend.” This division hurts in ways people should never hurt. Not a soul on this planet has the capacity to force someone to seek help in a genuine manner. Your friend, your spouse, your brother, your child…help must forever be their “Honest Acceptance.” Hindsight…I’m no different.

As Easter and Passover approach on our seasonal calendars, I am compelled to offer more “Unsolicited Advice” to illustrate the similarity of “Honest Acceptance” as it held against “Steadfast Denial”. As this season is upon us, I offer Jesus Christ’s declaration, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” In essence, Christians accept we are all sinners, we accept that we are forgiven of our sins and transgressions by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Honest Acceptance”, faith and acceptance of Jesus as our redeemer is the one and only pathway to the Father…God…Heaven. A human can share the story of Jesus, but the “Honest Acceptance” remains with the individual.  Christian missionaries will encounter people who will experience “Honest Acceptance”. The same Christian missionaries will also encounter people who will maintain a “Steadfast Denial” and consider the work of the missionaries “Unsolicited Advice”. There’s my “Unsolicited Advice”…and it’s there for your own interpretation.

Next, without a word to anyone, I allowed March 4, 2021, to come and go as any other day on the calendar.  As I went to bed that evening, I told my wife,  “Today, I have been an orphan for 75% of my life.” No, I don’t live in the past. I have learned so much from the past (hindsight)…and I continue learning something new each day I’m allotted. Yes, I would be a liar to pretend that cold hard statistic didn’t prey upon my mind that day. And…even as I write this post.

Then, just a few hours ago, it was March 20, 2021, and another statistic came to pass. This one is a mixture of joy and sadness. This day marked the 18th year since I received a double-lung transplant. I know the day lacks joy for the family of my donor…I continue to pray they find solace knowing their son’s lungs keep an old man alive. I am forced to acknowledge this statistic as it is miraculous. My life…my existence…continues far from the statistical norm of most lung transplantations. My life, as miraculous as I see, occurs in a body broken and abused (physically, mentally and spiritually). My soul is infected by depression and a host of other mental demons embedded deeply inside me. As I began a new season in my life, the mental demons…medications with horrific side-effects…a continued belief I was indeed useless…the reason for family difficulties…pushed me to rock bottom. This downward spiral continued until I attempted to end the life I had fought so hard to protect. In that not so distant season…I was nothing (useless…needing help…riding the express train to the pit of hell). My suicide attempt was calculated…some part of my geek brain obviously still intact. Two takeaways from this story…I shouldn’t be here…period. My mission hasn’t been completed.

You may find me on my knees…but this is not in posture of defeat…but praying to God…praying my broken body, mind, and soul be granted just a little time. Several new seasons are close at hand…and I pray I’m permitted the joy of being there for all of them. The new seasons are not necessarily mine…but for those I love so much.

— Bill

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