A Life Lesson; Round 1


I remember the 5-days prior, so vividly.  My youngest son and I were on our way to church.  We were taking pictures just because we were dressed up nicely, feeling and looking good.  This was a joyous time, we were going to praise the Lord on this Sabbath day.

This is also the day that I remembered looking at the picture and cringing . All I could think of was the fat on my arms that resembled other body parts as it appeared viciously in that red sleeveless dress.  This day was about 10-months post my last deployment in the US Army. A deployment by any Soldiers standard was easy breezy.  Not a care in the world, not a threat and not a reason that inclined us to even consider it to be a deployment. The country was pretty much at peace and we were there to sorta keep things from getting out of hand.  It was the place that “real deploying” Soldiers used as a hub to prepare, depart and go on to the bigger threatening areas.  Naw this wasn’t a deployment, it was just a “duty assignment away from my family”.  That’s it.

Once I did return home after this “duty assignment away from my family”, I went on a juice diet and ran every half-marathon, 10K, and marathon within a 100-mile radius. I did all this because while on the deployment I’d gained weight.  The heat was not good to me or my run routine. Once I returned home I started dieting,  I was probably in the best shape of my life, yet, I still found areas of my body to nick pick.  My underarm in this red dress was one of them.

What I didn’t realize, was that I would soon learn to ignore those small things.  Those things that no-one probably even noticed.  Those things that compared to other things, were MINIMAL to life.

Five days later, my life would be forever changed and I have the scar to prove it.  It was me,  a riding go-kart and a scarf around my neck to protect me from the chill winds of the day.  It was less than a week before Thanksgiving.  Needless to say, it was Sheka vs ‘The Scarf”.  Round 1. The scarf won.  “The Scarf” nearly killed me instantly.  Right as I was laughing, having fun not realizing within seconds my neck could’ve popped, been severed or my larynx crushed.  Or possibly decapitated. That’s all I will say about this.

Looking back on this, I felt as though God kept me around for many reasons. (some of those reasons will be shared at a later date). However, compared to the lifelong scar I now have just inches from that ‘fat on my arms’ that just less than a week prior, I thought was the worse thing ever.  Regardless of my flaws, I learned that life is to be VALUED!  Life is not to be taken for GRANTED.  Literally, within seconds as I was racing others in a go-kart, that morning could’ve very well been the last time my children would see me alive.

Did I kiss them that morning? Did I tell them I love them? Did I fuss at them for neglecting a chore on their way to school that morning? Did I tell them how proud I was of them? Did I remind them how grateful I am to be their mother?

All these things were things I thought of after the fact.  These things were things I thought of as I listened to the doctor ask me “do you know how lucky you are?”  “Do you understand what has happened?”

At that time I didn’t know.  I didn’t fully understand the fact that I was spared.  They say that if you want to understand and appreciate life better, then come in contact with death.

I AM GRATEFUL. I know that I was taught a valuable lesson.  Each time I look at this scar around my neck I am forever reminded.  I am forever reminded that I have a purpose.  I am forever reminded that I am blessed.  I appreciate every day, every hour and every second that I have been given.

That fat on my arm is probably still there.  I’m not sure.  I don’t see it simply because maybe the scar overshadows it or maybe because it’s not important.  Life is more than that.

Life should be more appreciated than a simple area of fat. My life is more then this scar.

It’s a definite reminder.  I get asked all kind of questions or hypotheticals of how it came to be.  I’ve even been asked did I try to “hang myself”?

I simply tell people…….”it’s a reminder that I am blessed”.  I won!


#soldiers #military #soldiersstruggles #relevance #thoughts #veterans

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