A Life in 7 minutes

I just saw a video entitled “This is My Story” that really touched me, and wanted to share it with you all.

I happened to stumble upon this video while trying to check my email and was struck by the capacity and sadness of it. The teenager in the video, Ben Breedlove, is telling the story of his life with a dangerous heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart has trouble pumping blood.

He tells his story through flashcards.

The video has no sound, and shows Ben smiling at times and somber at others, depending on which flashcard he is holding up. The greatest sadness and weight of this video is felt knowing that the young Ben has now since passed. The video was posted by him on December 18th and he passed away of a heart attack due to his condition on December 25th, Christmas.

In the video he describes the feeling of death three times. In two of the instances Ben tells us that he had an overwhelming feeling of happiness and “peace.” A bright light descending on him both times, and the second time him more entering a dream state or in between death and life experience.

Ben’s brush with death was so transforming for him that he tells us it was “the best feeling” and he “didn’t want to leave that place.”

That he wished he “never woke up.”

Ben’s experiences prepared him for where he was going. He was ready for it. He had been given a gift to have seen that place before going there. A gift that gave him strength, content, and hope for the last of his days.

I tell this story for two reasons: 1) the sense of security and peace that his visions give me regarding my own life and ultimate destination, 2) and for wanting to spread his story to you.

We all hear about these stories where people recount transcending the worlds of life and death, but they never seem to get old for us. Why is that?

I’ll tell you why: Because we are all curious. Ben’s video hasn’t gone viral for no reason. It’s gone viral because we want to know what it’s like, hear someone else tell us. To confirm it for us. His video is a reminder of the other world that we will all someday come to know.

Ben’s experiences were a gift for him, and now they are a gift for us.

Follow the link to check out the video:  “This is my story” by Ben Breedlove

TAC Campaign 20th Anniversary Video

I had a powerful video forwarded to me yesterday by my cousin that I think would be prudent for all of us to see, especially during the holidays when so many of us will be traveling and enjoying time with our families.

This video was put together by TAC (Transport Accident Commission), which began airing videos like this one in 1989. Arguably, because of the videos, the number of accidents related to drinking and driving have been substantially reduced.

This video hits a note for me because a couple years ago I had a step sister killed by someone under the influence. She had been walking home from work one day when a drunk driver veered off the road and hit her. It was a horrible tragedy. It tore the family up for a long time.

I’m not trying to be depressing on Christmas Eve, but we all sometimes need to be reminded of the effects our actions have on others.

I know we all want to have fun and make memories, but if you are going to drink, stay where you are or have someone else drive you home. It’s not worth hurting/killing someone. The last thing we all want is something tragic to happen around the holidays.

So if you’ve found your way to this site, and haven’t seen the video, then watch it.

Rainy Day Go Away

They’re saying it’s supposed to rain off and on for the next four days, straight through Christmas. Oh my! It started raining late last night after a pretty cloudy day and has gone through most of today so far. But, that’s what it does in North Carolina come this time of year. Most of the winter we live in rain and ice. Not too much snow. At least where I live. The Blue Ridge Mountains are another story.

Having grown up in white and cold winters in the North, I miss the snow. When winter comes and the weatherman says there’s going to be a potential for snow, I’m one of the ones who’s praying for it. I love the snow! I love walking in it, driving in it (I know that’s weird), sleighing in it, and especially drinking coffee in it. I love the crispness of the air and the steam that blows from my mouth, and how everything seems to get quiet from the insulation of it, like a recording studio–everything gets absorbed. You smell fire from the hearths of houses carrying in the air. And most of all, when it snows really good, you get to sit home with your family and watch movies all day in your pajamas.

Some of my fondest memories come from when I was a kid in the North and school would get cancelled and my mom would stay home with us and my aunt would bring my cousin over. We would all hang out and watch movies and sleigh and build igloos (the sleighing and igloo part is more me and my cousin). My cousin and I would have snowballs fights with the kids in the neighborhood, each team gathering as many kids as they could from nearby houses then divvying everybody up and going at it. We would build huge forts to protect us. Snowballs flying overhead and exploding on our heads. It was awesome!

However, in North Carolina this is not the way it goes. It snows here about 3-5 times a year, and when I say snow, I mean 3 inches. But it still shuts the whole city down. Crazy huh? The worst is when it ices. One night when I was living in Raleigh an ice storm froze the city like an icicle. I mean everything was petrified frozen. Trees, grass, cars, roads, windows, power lines, heating and A/C units. The scariest part was the power lines. The ice would bring them down or split them from the weight. I remember hearing the ice crack at night during that storm. Everything laid frozen for days, and at night, I laid listening to it crack and pop and fall. Sometimes the pop was so loud you would have thought someone shot a gun.

I sure hope this winter is not like that one. No ice please! Just snow, lots and lots of snow.