Chapter 6 – Relational Re-Entry: Who knows and who doesn’t?

{Having recently published Sacred Heart Attack | Sacrèe Crise Cardiaque,I’ve begun writing a sequel telling of the my recovery and the aftermath of my ten dramatic days in Montreal. I’m sharing Chapter 6 of the yet to titled book that I expect to publish in early 2014. It will be more reflective and deal with some of the deeper issues surrounding a near death experience.}

(January 17, 2013) There were a couple of things that I knew would occur over the next few weeks. One, I’d be greeting good friends about every other day as they delivered meals to us. Some would want to visit and see how I was doing and ask a few questions. Others would want to make a quick stop and drop off food, but wouldn’t have time to visit. As one who’s said to have the “gift of gab” and finds it difficult to give short answers without appropriate context, I could expect to be frustrated by the brief encounters. And the longer visits would be deeply satisfying while helping me to release some of the emotional baggage I was carrying. Good baggage, but luggage that needed to be unpacked and put in its proper place. Tears would show my fear, pain, anxiety and joy. Amazing what shedding a few tears can accomplish.

Secondly, I knew that saying “I had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago…, a couple of months ago,” would be a significant part of my conversation with most everyone for a while. And with friends who were aware of my surprise heart “event” I would be explaining symptoms and warning signs that I had or had not experienced before and during the attack. There would be lots of very natural questions.

Again, I felt a combination of anxiety and welcome as I anticipated future encounters. I would learn later that one thing I had not anticipated was a conversation where a fellow traveler would share about someone close to them who didn’t make it to the hospital in time or the medical teams weren’t able to save them and the blocked artery killed them.

These encounters would hit me hard with a combination punch of sadness and wonder– sadness for my friend’s loss and wonder at God’s tender mercy for saving my life. I would ask myself what my life now meant. Was I called to make dramatic changes? Had God saved me for some enduring quest? Was he planning to re-direct my path into a new world? Or did it mean, simply and profoundly, that my time on earth was not done. I knew I had more rough edges that God could shave off before I was ready for heaven, but I knew, too, that that hasn’t stopped him from taking people in the past.

What does it mean that I am still alive?

It is a question that would be my constant companion for months to come.

Published by

Jimmy Locklear

One seeking to live from his heart as a follower of Jesus. Son, husband, father, friend. Writer, marketing and fundraising strategist. Veteran of corporate, agency, and high impact organizations.