Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 25 - A dash of existentialism

I didn't realize these posts were going to get quite so deep...

Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today

Why are any of us still alive today? No, really - how do we know? If we are alive so we can be in a certain place at a certain time to save a life, or to set something in motion, do we even realize it? For example, have you seen the movie Vantage Point? It's a pretty cool movie, just from the way the story is told. But that's not my point. Not to give much away, but at one point Forest Whitaker's character saves a little girl from being hit by a vehicle. Was that his reason for living? Will he ever know? Or was it just coincidence and anyone could have been there?

I almost drowned once. I am not sure if I ever told my parents this story, I do know that I didn't immediately because I didn't want to cause them to worry or be upset, even though everything turned out fine. (I'm sure I'll get a phone call later if I didn't tell them.) On the day I graduated from high school, after the party at our house, my boyfriend at the time, my best guy friend (BGF) at the time and I went to the river. That's what kids do in that small town. We were blessed with beautiful waterfalls, though. One is called Baby Falls. It's dangerous I suppose, but not like the big beautiful one further downriver, Bald River Falls. (You can see photos of both waterfalls here.) Anyway, apparently it was popular to jump off of Baby Falls into the river below. My BGF had done it many times with other friends, and we decided to go there. He and I were sitting at the top of the falls, when I quickly came to a realization - he and his friends all outweighed me by around 100 lbs. As we were sitting there trying to get the courage to jump, I was pulled over the falls by the current and could not stop myself. Just to the left of where the photo cuts off are some large boulders in the river. The current pulled me to the bottom of one of them, and I could not get out. I wasn't caught on anything, but the current kept pushing me down. I thought to myself, "I am going to die on the day I graduated high school." Then I thought, "No, I'm not! I'm not done living yet!" and started pushing and kicking against the boulder. Finally I made it to the surface, only to be caught again in the current and be carried further down. I was in the middle of the river, too, with nothing to grab hold of. My BGF had been following along with me on the side of the river, and he was able to get in the water and swim to me and catch me, and help me get to shore, and our day of swimming was over.

So, why am I still alive? One year after that happened I met my husband, and now we have two daughters. Are they the reason? Will they accomplish great things? Will their children? Maybe. Who knows? Maybe I still have something to do. Maybe I've already done it and don't realize it.

I do know, though, that I am very glad to be here. And even though our friendship became tumultous and eventually faded, I am forever grateful to my friend for jumping in the river and saving me.

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