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“Be Fearless: Happiness is always in your hands. You cannot climb a mountain by always running away from it. The first step to conquering your fears is to face them. The views are always spectacular at all the summits of life.”—Robert Clancy
When Life Changes on a Dime …
It’s true that you never know what lies ahead in your life. Life takes many twists and turns, some of which are seemingly for the worse. I’ve learned that you just need to trust the ocean of change to sail upon the ebbs and flows of these disruptive waves.
A few weeks ago, my sons and daughter asked my wife and I to host an after junior prom party at our house. There were some questionable parties they’d been invited to and they wanted to just be with their friends and do the right thing that night. The pre-prom gathering at our house went off without a hitch. There were eight prom couples who were either getting ready for the prom or meeting their dates. Many of their excited parents were in tow, which added to the buzz at our house.
Following the prom all of the prom revelers gathered at our house right on time. Shortly after my wife stepped out to pick up snacks and pizza. A few minutes later I heard a bit of commotion in my basement where the boys were changing out of their tuxedos. Suddenly, my son emerged from my basement. His face was pale.
“Dad! Something bad just happened downstairs. You need to come right now!”
I looked over my glasses with a slight smirk. “What’s going on? Did you guys break something? I heard a crash.”
“No! It’s one of the prom guys. I think he’s Carly’s date. He’s having convulsions. He just fell over while were talking to him and we can’t wake him up. We thought he was joking around with us. You have to get down there!”
My mind was racing as I descended the stairs. What I discovered was serious. The boy’s face was dripping with sweat and ashen colored. I called out his name several times with no response. I was in ultra-drive. This young man’s life was no firmly in my hands. It felt like I was driving at a thousand miles an hour and a single mistake could turn tragic.
“Does anyone know his medical history…uh…is he allergic to anything?”
“I think he’s lactose intolerant,” one of the girls said.
I checked him for any medical ID bracelets and patted him down for any medicine he may have been carrying. I found nothing and my phone was upstairs somewhere. As I held the young man in my arms on the floor, I immediately assessed the situation and began shooting from the hip.
“Who here has their cell phone handy? I need you to sit next to me and call 911 right now. Does anyone have his parent’s phone number handy? Can someone get a towel from upstairs and drench it in cold water. I need to bring his core temperature down. He’s burning up. I think he’s dehydrated. What did he eat or drink at the prom?”
These were just a few of the things I blurted in the calmest tone I could muster, while my soul was screaming. While the pieces of information came in from the kids, I kept thinking, “This boy is going to die in my arms,” but I couldn’t show them this. I had to remain strong.
The ambulance finally arrived an excruciating twenty minutes later. My wife, daughter and the boy’s prom date followed the ambulance to the hospital to meet his parents. I wasn’t until the next morning that we heard he was okay. He was severely dehydrated due to not drinking enough and overdoing it on the dance floor for several hours.
We’ve all been there at some point in our life. A terrible phone call out of the blue to let you know someone close to you passed away or had a serious injury. These moments stop your precious heart in its track.
The next day, I was emotionally spent and took the following day off from work. I reflected on how this whole situation could have been much worse. If the prom group had decided to go to one of the questionable parties, he may not have survived. I thought about how I was there for him and knew what to do to save his life.
We all need to keep this wonderful view of our life. Within every one of life’s problems is its solution or silver lining; just change your heart’s perspective on the matter to see it. When something bad happens in your life, think of how it could have been much worse. Your wellbeing is directly connected to your outlook. When your mind is always focused on the positive side you’ll only embody that happiness.