Last week I was in Columbus, Georgia hanging out with my mom. I had taken our two youngest children, Abby and Landon, so they could see their grandmother and so I'd have a little company for the long ride. They had been patiently a part of the process all day Wednesday as we ran errands with mom and helped her take care of some necessary things. So, to reward them and me, we went to a movie at a discount show on Wednesday night--"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: part 2." (No, that's not the reason for my aforementioned tears). Somewhere about the 30 minute mark in the movie, I started having a chest pain. I chalked it up to a little too much gravy in my home cooked meal and continued to enjoy the movie. By the time the credits rolled, the pain was more intense and very consistent. I kept trying to shrug it off but I also knew my family's history with their heart.
We left the movie and went to Walmart. We were simply going to run in and grab a few things that I needed for mom's house (I usually do a little maintenance and upkeep on the place when I go down to visit). The pain intensified and so did my concern. By the time we reached the store, I was more than just a little afraid. Trying to find a place to call my sister for her help (she lives in Columbus) without alarming the girls, I asked them to sit in the car and let me just run in.
Standing between the air filters and the light bulbs, I had a very passionate prayer time with God. All I could think of was me having a heart attack in housewares while my daughters sat in the truck, oblivious to what was going on. I began to cry. I retreated further into the housewares department so I could talk with my sister and so the other customers wouldn't worry about the strange man in the paint aisle.
Long story short, Harriet (my sister) and I went to the ER with my nephew, Carter. EKGs were fine. Wait time was not. They immediately did the EKG and asked me to wait to see a doctor. Two and a half hours (yes, it was almost 1 a.m.) and four ambulance arrivals later I left, much to Lisa's disdain. My thinking was that they were obviously not too concerned so I guess I shouldn't be. Final prognosis with my personal physician was my ticker is great, I was just a little too stressed. Too many changes happening too fast and I needed to ramp up my coping mechanisms. You gotta love it when your doctor's prescription is, "You need to play a little more golf and spend a little more time at the pool."
I'm okay now. I guess, honestly, I was okay then. But the whole event puts things into perspective for me---again. Standing in that Walmart that night, I was faced with the reality of my own mortality in ways we don't like to be. In similar ways to April, 2004 when my wife and son were taken from me. When you're wondering what will happen to your wife and kids if something happens to you, the light bulbs suddenly don't matter as much. I'm thankful it was nothing serious this time, but as I have challenged you all before, don't take for granted the half-seconds of life that we have been given. One half of a second changed my world seven years ago when three guys ran a stop sign. One half of a second almost changed the world of my family Wednesday night. I hope you prayerfully consider how you spend every half second you are given. Once they are gone, they will never be recaptured.
Got to run now. Time for granola and vitamins and exercise. I've got a trillion half seconds ahead of me and I don't want to "miss" them because I didn't take care of myself.