A Dozen Years Later

I remember where I was and what I was doing exactly twelve years ago to the hour as I write this. I thought I was going to die...and I was scared.

Not easy for a warrior musician to admit, but it's true.

The short version of the story is that a failed intubation during a routine surgery left me with an infection that was reducing my ability to breathe. Exactly twelve years ago, I was losing my ability to speak.

The day was much like today as my friends back in Iowa post weather updates about the blizzard happening at this moment. They wanted to fly me to the University of Iowa hospitals for emergency surgery, but it was not safe to fly.

When I went in for surgery, they told my wife, my first wife, five months pregnant with our oldest daughter, to call family and call life insurance...they did not expect me to survive.

By nightfall I was awake and breathing through a tube in my neck, unable to speak.

A lot has happened since that day.

I've been blessed with three beautiful children and I buried my father

I developed type 2 diabetes and became a martial arts master

I finished my bachelor's degree, I'm finishing my master's and preparing to apply for a doctoral program (if only my high school counselor could see me now!)

I went through a painful divorce and I married the perfect balance to my soul

I've known the depths of darkness and the pinnacle of ecstasy

I have loved and I have grown and I have lived

On this eve of the winter solstice where the promise of life is renewed and of the Galactic Alignment that harbors a powerful yet subtle shift in human consciousness, I have this message for you:

The Ancient Wisdom is true...there is life, there is death and there is rebirth.

I've been there.