Day 6 & 7

On Saturday the 22nd at about 9:15 in the morning my sister Tammy passed away. Just writing that sentence hurts my core. She lived a hard life, harder than most can imagine. And the end was no different, very sick. I love her, always, and will miss her for the rest of my life. I will remember the happy, fun sister that called me” tag-a-butt.” Always light-hearted, poking fun and laughing.  I guess we take  people for granted.

When we are born into this world there is only one thing you can count on, someday, you are going to die. This is true for every living thing on this planet, a hard truth. As we grow older we come closer to our own mortality. People that we care about fall to the way side, into death and what comes after. We may even experience our own episodes. A while ago, maybe two years now, I saw what I thought was my end. I woke really early one morning, 4 a.m.ish, I could not breathe. My chest was tight and hurt. I thought it was just an anxiety attack caused by bad dream, like when you wake up being chased by a lunatic or something like that. I got a glass of water and paced around the apartment waiting for my breath to come back, my heart to slow. It didn’t. I woke Stephanie and decided to look up doctors on my health plan. While she was on the computer, I realized that this could be serious. “Let’s go to the hospital…” When these words come out of my mouth, it’s real. I’m not afraid of much, but hospitals give me a stress level I cannot explain, all I can see is a death-trap,”come in and never leave,” should be there slogans. When I got out of the car in the ER parking lot, I could barely make it to the doors. They put me on an E.K.G to test my heart. All my symptoms were, “heart attack.” I had horrible pressure and tightness in my chest, they gave me NITRO. Coincidently they gave me these drugs right before a tech was going to give me a chest ex-ray, when he sat me up on the table the world changed. My eyes got heavy and it felt like I was walking down a long dark hallway with no light at the end. I remember saying,” This is it, I’m done, Peace out…(exact thought)” I woke up in an elevator, loaded with drugs, hit on a nurse (asked for a sponge bath), hilarious under much morphine by the way. I had something called pericarditis. It is a condition in which the sac-like covering around the heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed. I later discovered that it was more than likely caused my gum disease, leaking bacteria directly to my heart. I came out on this one ok. 99% chance it will never happen again. But I got a new appreciation of life, that it could end at any time.

Your born with nothing and die with nothing. So what is life really about. The Journey. Experiences and dreams. Live life big, dream big.  My second round of golf in the Bay Area exposed my biggest dream. I played at TPC Harding Park. It was a beautiful, clear morning, a rare day. When you get late in the back nine, you can see Olympic Club across the water. The green beast sparkled in the morning sunshine, my Everest, right in front of me. You see, Olympic Club will be hosting the 2012 US Open. Over the years I have tried to qualify several times and missed sectionals by a single  stroke on two occasions. I want this event very bad.  I have never put in the work and time though, excuses have plagued me.  If I work hard and stay on track and continue to love what I’m doing, I can’t go wrong. “The Long Walk to Olympic,” the probable title for the book.

The dream will be put on hold this week. I will continue to work but my mind and heart will be elsewhere.  I will be flying home to mourn and celebrate my sister’s life. I am sad today. This is what makes us human, emotion.

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