When everything flashes before your eyes…

Believe me. When that doctor came into my hospital room May 5 and told me my liver was worthless and that I didn’t have much time left, my thoughts immediately went to my family. I didn’t think of my house, my career or any of the stuff that clutters my world. They say your life flashes before your eyes. It does.

First, I thought of my wife. She’s been my best friend since 1982. I can still see her coming down the aisle on that rainy June 2, 1984 afternoon. I can see her looking into my eyes and pausing in a moment of panic when she forgot her vows. I remember our kiss and the way my heart felt like it was going to explode as we walked past our friends and family as husband and wife. What would she do? How would she live? My life insurance was the first casualty of this liver disease. She wouldn’t even have enough to bury me.

Next, I thought of my daughter’s wedding July 2. Would it now be a day of mourning instead of the celebration we’ve been planning? I thought of her standing in her snow suit on top of a snowbank at 5 yelling, “I love daddy!” at the top of her lungs and listening for the echo off the nearby courthouse. I remember her refusing to take a break while learning to ride her bike and through determined tears saying, “No! I WILL do this!” I thought of the cold bleachers and the hours and hours cheering for her as she played field hockey. What would she do?

Next into my mind came my Jacob. “I got the rug burn,” he would tell everyone when he was about 3 and had a scab on his nose. He rubbed his nose raw on the carpet while we were on vacation. I saw him dancing on second base with his helmet on crooked while he used his knuckles to knock on his athletic cup keeping a beat. I thought of him making us laugh and laugh like third-borns usually do. I thought, “He can’t let this take him off course. He will finish culinary school, won’t he?”

And then, my Josh, my first born. I remembered him learning to walk at the back of a camp chapel while I encouraged the people there to give Jesus a chance. I remember playing “Hook” pinball and us yelling “Bang-a-rang!!!” when we’d go to the game room at Attitash when his little brother and sister went to bed. Buckets and buckets of baseballs, his first homerun and driving hours watching him play the game we love. The concerts, the road trips and the pride seeing him graduate with honors from Bates College. I saw them all like a movie. “Lord, I want to see him graduate with his Phd.”

Parents, sisters, relatives, friends … how would my death affect them? I couldn’t even think without weeping.

Dads, can you picture it? None of us want to cause so much pain to the people we love but we’re always putting our health off until “later.” I beg you to understand that investing another hour at work instead of going to the gym to shed those extra pounds will not matter one bit if you find “doctor death” (as I like to call her now) giving you news that will take your breath away like a lineman driving his helmet into your ribs.

Dads, we have to take care of ourselves for the people we love. Go get the physical. Try a salad. Go for a walk, ride a bike, play tennis, move … please stop putting it off.

The people you love are the only thing that matters.

About Scott Linscott

Living life to the fullest, walking in the dust of my Rabbi, creating art through photography and written word, speaking words of hope and encouragement at conferences, workshops, church and civic gatherings.
This entry was posted in facing death, Fatty Liver Disease, NASH, organ donation, Real World Parents, simple, time management, transplant and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to When everything flashes before your eyes…

  1. Dale Prue says:

    AMEN! We are praying that our loving Father will heal you and that you WILL be a very special part of all of those events. We are praying for your visit to Lahey Clinic on Monday and for the doctors and nurse that you will meet there, and that God will work through them to bring healing and many long and happy years.

  2. Gary says:

    Thanks, Scott. Doc answered the tough question, “How long?” for my resurgent prostate cancer now in stage 4, by throwing the median stat out there. Three to five years from initial hormone treatment. Cool. Now I know. But not really. Plenty of time to finish the book, and plenty of time to read back over your swan songs well written. June 2nd, eh? Keep us in the loop. Some of us out here would like to pray for a smooth transition…well after the wedding cake.

  3. Hey Scott Been a longtime since I worked summer ministries with you. I saw a post on FB that lead me here. Wow I had no idea. You will be in my prayers. We all know that one day this life will be over and we always told kids at camp that but this is tough. The skits we did and the laughs we shared at camps. I wish there was more I could do then just pray.
    -Dan-

  4. gail says:

    Thanks Brother. Yes what seemed important on May 4th totally disappeared on May 5th.

  5. Hal Cushing says:

    I’ve been getting an annual physical for many years now. I can remember Chuck Swindoll and D. James Kennedy talking about it years ago so I started to go, even though I don’t really enjoy it. Even when one does go regularly, things can change ‘in an instant’. That’s why I settled it long ago. With Christ, we have both something to live for and something to die for….a win win situation!

  6. Rob says:

    Wow! It is so easy to keep putting the gym off. After being told I was close to dying with my diabetes last year, I thought that would motivate me. It did for 6 months, but old habits come creeping back into our lives. I have been resistant to read your blogs because its to close. You have been such an important part of Michelle and my lives. God used you to help me come to him. That was only the beginnning you discipled me, mentored me in Youth Ministry and how to be a Christian Man. You listened to both Michelle and I when we started to panic about getting married (I still smile when I think of that night both Michelle and I called you less then an hour apart from Eastern). We may only get together a couple times a year, but it doesn’t mean we (I) don’t love you. I promise you that I will focus on my health, I will take my meds daily, and start putting the gym in my schedule. I bet you never thought I would be an administrator with strengths in time management. Really I make every meeting and use a daytimer all the time. Post-it Notes; love them. Thanks for this post and I will start following your blog closer. See you tomorrow night. Love you, Rob

  7. aunt Betty says:

    how to make me cry, I did the same thing when I was told I to needed a new liver. As you know it is a very scary place to be. I was told the same thing as you 5 years ago. My Meld score goes up and down. I am now on the inactive list. I live 6 months at a time till my next Drs appointment. We Deal, we can do this together Scott. You hold me up and I will hold you up.

  8. Kevin says:

    Wow Scott! You are truly a gifted and vulnerable writer. Continueing in prayer.

  9. Phil Andrukaitis says:

    As Dave rightly said, “good advice.” His comment reminds me of what Moses said, “Lord, teach us to number our days.” Scott, I think I’ll go for a walk this evening. Thanks.

  10. dave says:

    Good advice…

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