As I scanned the obituaries and noticed many young people risking and losing their lives, I decided to write this to let you know that I believe in life, in living.
In college in the late sixties, my depression had not yet been diagnosed. One night, the night of my birthday, I was just tired of facing it day after day, year after year. I saw no end, no hope, just a forever depression. I calmly walked to the neighorhood market and purchased two bottles of over-the-counter sleeping pills. I went back to the dorm, did my homework, washed my hair then rolled it in giant bristle rollers, took the pills and went to sleep. There was no drama, no note; no farewell to any loved ones, simply escape.
Three hours later, I scrambled to get to the bathroom. Every one of those pills came right up but their drowsy effect was still with me. All I wanted was to go to bed wishing I hadn’t taken them and wondering if I could safely sleep and wake in the morning. With a roommate’s advice, I called the local hospital. In the sixties there were no cell phones, or even cordless telephones. When the receptionist answered, I asked for a nurse or a doctor. “Well, I think they are all in surgery.” She informed me. “Let me call and see.”
After several minutes a nurse in an excited voice answered, “Hello?”
“I have a question to ask a nurse or doctor.” I slurred.
“The doctor’s about finished. Please wait.” I heard the thud of the telephone as she evidently placed it on top of the wall, base unit. As I waited, I heard muffled voices and then I clearly heard a baby cry. The nurse picked up the telephone. “We just delivered a baby. Now, how may I help you?”
I never thought being a witness to that birth over the telephone was a coincidence. Hearing a new life begin as I was trying to end mine sent a strong message. Now, I strongly believe in life, in living and in a new tomorrow.
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