This I Believe
I defiantly believed an error had been fabricated, when told I had less than three years to live. Never sick one day in my brief 49 years, I arrogantly believed myself invincible.
When within six months I’d lost the use of my arms and hands, I undeniably believed that by sheer will, and the combined power of my beliefs, I could alter myself on a molecular level, enough to annul the daily debilitation.
Once a year had passed, when I also could no longer walk and was imprisoned in a wheelchair,
I still passionately believed in miracles delivered by a benevolent Higher Power. To prove this notion, I traveled to the remote jungles of Brazil, where flocks of iridescent parrots clustered in rain kissed Mango trees. I found a healer who spoke with eyes transfixed inward upon the past. I honestly believed the hands of ethereal entities worked within me, channeling my chi, altering my aura, healing me in many ways, except that which I sought.
By the time two years had elapsed, when also the use of my voice had deserted me, I desperately believed that the same institution that predicted my demise, could now reverse their curse. Though, due to the prevailing beliefs of my homeland, I would have to travel to cryptic China to test that tenet. I reverently believed that my destiny had brought me to that instant when two holes were drilled in my shaved skull, and cells of unnamed innocents were inserted therein.
I was altered only with a shrinkage of my monetary resources, and the humble acceptance of my own infallible frailty.
For three years I fearfully believed that each night, as I prepared for sleep, would be my last. Instead I entered dreams as one would enter bright rooms from dark places. In one such capacity appeared my deceased brother Jim.
“I’ve come to tell you how sad I feel about this tragedy that is consuming you, and to convince you that there is a reason for everything. Keep believing, all will be revealed when you arrive.”
“Where?”, I inquired.
His eyes smiled before he replied, “You know, in London, when you travel the Underground, and arrive from somewhere, or just before you depart, the doors open and a voice from above prompts you :‘Mind the gap’, well, that’s where I am now.”
“London?” I suggested, puzzled.
“No,” he grinned. “The gap.” Then he hugged me such force . . . I woke up.
My wife’s deep breathing told me she was caught in the slipstream of her own dreams. The impression of my brother’s embrace lingered upon my skin, as the dawn found me eyes wide, pondering.
Nearly five years finds me a 100% invalid, though I don’t believe I am an in valid man.
I believe self-pity and despair are traps that you fall into when you stop believing in yourself, in all the possibilities and potentials; and the Mystery that binds all things, on both sides..of the gap.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.