Thursday, July 12, 2012
How Ric Morgan Is Feeding His Love Life In Spite Of Challenges
The year 2011 has been probably one of the most difficult in my life, if not the most difficult. In January I came very close to dying as all the major parts of my body began to shut down for no apparent reason.
Then, on March the first, a tow truck that had lost its brakes hit the apartment building I live in. The 85 M.P.H. crash nearly totaled three apartments, and a condemnation notice forced all of us to move out for 11 days so the building could be thoroughly inspected and small repairs made in apartments that had not been directly hit by the truck.
On the morning of May second I collapsed in my apartment, and had to air-lifted to the nearest major trauma center. That trip resulted in the discovery of gangrene in my right leg to such an extent that my leg had to be removed below the knee, or I would die in just a few hours. After a month in the hospital, and a three-month stay in a rehabilitation center, I returned home to the long-haul of recovery.
This is a lot for one person to take, but as a piece of paper taped up inside one of the cabinet doors in my kitchen says, "God never gives us more than we can handle."
This whole process has been a very trying and difficult one, and I frequently wonder just how much more I can handle. But once you concentrate on a thought like that, something else can come along just to prove your level of tolerance.
We have to be very careful, because our thoughts can frequently become our reality.
In 2009 I wrote book called Keep It Simple and Smart. It's a tome about how we can simplify our lives, live smarter and become more sane in the face of a world that refuses to bend to what we want, and forces us to conform to the chaos. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, the book is a small, simple-to-read volume that is just the facts about how to truly change your life in very positive ways.
Interestingly enough authors rarely read their books once they have been published, being consigned to a spot on a bookcase to collect dust. But this book is something I turn to myself because I need to "hear" the words repeatedly in order to get them to sink in.
What I do to feed my love of life is to realize that for me God is in charge, and things are going to happen His way irrespective of what or how I want life to be. That fact, and the one that God loves me as one of His children, brings tremendous peace and serenity to my life. As I work to live a simpler, smarter and saner life, I realize I am the only one responsible for my life, as well as my beliefs, attitudes and way of life. Life is a whole lot easier when I understand I don't have to fix anything or anyone but myself, and leave the rest up to God (I highly respect the feelings and beliefs of those who don't believe in God in the same way and at the same level as I do).
By writing such a book I have been able to encourage a lot of people to make positive changes in their lives. By making no warranties or guarantees, each person is invited to identify and make changes that only affect them in the ways are simplest and easiest for them.
But the best way to encourage others is by example. I live my life the best ways I know how, never bending to the expectations of others, as an example, and it has made a difference as the number of people who make complimentary comments increases almost daily.
In May I was given a choice: cut of the leg or die. It really was a difficult decision as I wasn't sure about facing all the problems of learning to live with an artificial limb. Then I was reminded of two things: In the first I had been told that, after collapsing into an un-conscious state I had somehow managed to make it across the door and fell by the door, and to dial 911 without saying anything to them. That, I was reminded, is an example of a strong will to live. The other thing was that millions of people before, and just as many following me, have the same thing happen to them and they managed to survive.
Once I had those two thoughts come to mind the decision got a whole lot easier.
I guess I do have a great love and respect for life. I have lived an exciting adventure, doing many things most people can even dream of. But I realize one thing; in most cases I made it happen. I either got up off the couch or chair and created my own opportunities, or took full advantage to most the opportunities that came my way. It has always seemed like a no-brainer to me. But the vast majority of people just sit there and watch life go past them like their watching a parade, then complain that nothing fun, adventuresome, or exciting happens to them.
A love of life is what makes it happen and I encourage others to get up and get going to make it happen for them.
Ric Morgan, Gatlinburg, Tennessee