New Year

Hope everyone had a safe and happy new year!

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

Cold Mountain—Charles Frazier

Cold Mountain (novel)

Image via Wikipedia

I couldn’t be more disappointed by this book. I bought it on the grounds of reading the first couple pages, which I deemed magnificent, and then read 150 more pages to find the novel was quite the opposite.

One word for this novel: BORING.

I hate to say that, but whoa is this book slow. I was really hoping this book would knock me off my feet, especially considering it had one a National Book Award, which in hindsight is completely absurd and scary, but it more just put me to sleep. Each time I picked it up I prayed it would get better, but page after page the plot was nonexistent and the narrative was consumed by useless details.

I’ll give Frazier a star for his ability to describe scenery, but beyond that, there’s nothing else this book offers. It’s literally a story of a man wandering through the woods in the mountains of North Carolina. Come on Frazier! You can do better than that!

Unless you like reading about flowers, trees, streams, grass, and entirely pointless events, don’t read this book.

Sorry. I was pulling for it, but it let me down.