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Why Should I Stay Alive

by Kristin Beck
9 comments
Why Should I Stay Alive

Why Should I Stay Alive

“When I was nine-years old, I had been playing with friends on the street in front of our house. We were jumping up and down when suddenly two men approached us. They asked me where we kept our money. The man who seemed more threatening grabbed one of my friend’s arms and started pulling her towards him while his accomplice pulled mine. As soon as he did so, I let out an ear-shattering scream at the top of my lungs and ran inside my house. My mom came running out of the room that she shared with my dad. She saw me fall onto the ground in pain and then heard the commotion outside. When she got there, she saw the guy holding my arm and another one trying to pull my other arm behind them. As they tried to drag me away, I screamed again and kicked both their legs. Somehow, my mother managed to get between them and said “”Please leave now.”” One of the men left but the other refused to go until my mom punched him in the face. He dropped me and ran off.
My father was waiting for me when I walked into the kitchen. His eyes widened when he saw me covered in bruises from head to toe, including a large cut above my eye which was bleeding profusely. I could hear sirens coming closer and closer and realized that I needed help immediately. I didn’t care about anything else except getting to a hospital. My father drove me to the nearest emergency room and stayed with me until the doctor arrived. After examining me, the doctor decided that I wouldn’t be able to handle anesthesia and suggested just cleaning the wound and putting antibiotic ointment on it. But this wasn’t good enough because it only provided temporary relief. By nightfall, my wounds were infected and inflamed. I couldn’t sleep and was constantly nauseous. The next day, I went back to school but couldn’t focus on anything. Everyone knew something was wrong.
I spent the rest of the week in bed. When Monday came around, my father took me to see a different doctor, who examined my wounds again and found out that I had been stabbed 13 times in the chest and neck area. It was determined that I would need surgery. I was taken to Children’s Hospital Medical Center in New York City (now known as NYU Langone Health System). On July 7th, 1976, I underwent major heart surgery with Dr. Martin Hirschowitz. Six days later, I woke up to tubes sticking out of my body and was rushed to ICU. Two days after that, I was transferred to a private room. I spent the following weeks recovering slowly but surely.
After three months, I was finally strong enough to sit up by myself and walk across the floor. At first, I felt very lightheaded, weak and dizzy. I also noticed that I was having trouble breathing and coughing blood during the day. Once I got over these symptoms, though, everything healed quickly and I returned home on August 3rd, 1976.
The doctors explained to me that it happened because I had lost too much blood and nutrients and that I shouldn’t try to do things I normally did before. In fact, they even recommended that I avoid going to college classes and work. This made no sense to me why I couldn’t go back to normal activities. I wanted to play basketball and join the cheerleading squad like everybody else. And I really missed being independent. Why did I have to stay home? What was my purpose in life? Wasn’t I supposed to live a full life?
In addition to dealing with physical issues, I also had to deal with emotional ones. I felt guilty for surviving when my best friend died from cancer several years earlier. I felt ashamed that I hadn’t died instead of my friend. Was I not meant to die too? I also felt angry that God allowed my attacker to kill me when I never deserved any of it. I blamed Him for letting someone take my life. Most of all, I felt scared of dying and afraid of what might happen to my soul once I passed on. If I died, could I ever come back to life? Could I return to earth as a ghost or an angel? Would I forever remain stuck somewhere between heaven and hell?
These questions plagued my thoughts every single moment of my existence. For months, I cried silently in bed and wondered if there was a reason for me to keep living. I felt helpless and hopeless. Then, one day, I received a letter from a woman named Jeanette who wrote to me after reading my story in a magazine. She contacted me because she wanted to tell me that she had survived an attempted kidnapping when she was 12-years old. Her attackers beat her badly and she ended up hospitalized for weeks. She was traumatized and suffered severe depression, but today, she has a new life filled with happiness and success. Jeanette sent me a copy of her book called “Miracle Cure – A True Story About Healing Your Life Through Miracles” and encouraged me to read it. From that point on, I began studying the Bible and other books on spirituality. I learned that I wasn’t alone. Many people who were almost killed have had similar experiences. Some of them converted to Christianity while others became agnostic and atheist. Regardless of their beliefs, however, they all believed that they weren’t destined to die. Instead, they chose to believe that they were here for a higher purpose.
So, why should I stay alive? Because I feel as if I have a purpose. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how to find it. I was nearly killed as a child and all throughout my childhood and teen years, everyone told me I was here for a purpose, since I should’ve have lived. I used to think that maybe I was put on this planet to serve as a sacrifice for some greater good. Maybe I was supposed to die so that God could save somebody else’s life. Now, I’m not saying that this is true. I’m simply asking you to consider your own experience. What if you were almost killed? How would you react? Perhaps you’d blame yourself for surviving. Or perhaps you’d say that it must be God’s will and nothing more. Either way, regardless of your answer, you can agree that your survival is evidence enough that you’re here for a purpose.
I’m writing this article because I want to encourage you to believe that you are here for a reason, despite whatever circumstances you may encounter. You deserve to live your life fully without fear, anxiety or doubt. So please, give your life meaning! Live your life to its fullest!”

 

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