“I’m Sorry”: A story about regrets and a second chance

It was 26 years ago today that I died and was given a second chance at life. I was involved in a head on collision with a Fully loaded car transport. I was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected from the car, fortunately for me, the engine crushed my right leg keeping me in the car. I laid there on the dashboard of my car dying.

I have recently remembered those last moments of life, I remember lying there in the car, the cold December wind blowing on my face, and the icy drops of snow falling. I could feel my heart beat slowing, the coldness of death approaching, I was cold and I was sorry! That is what I kept saying.

Now I know why I was cold, I was bleeding to death, the blood pooling in my stomach, but why was I sorry?

“I’m sorry” would have been the words that I spoke, had I not received the amazing care I did from the first responders to the doctors at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital. Why though, was I sorry? For the longest time I thought I was saying I was sorry because I was involved in the accident and may have believed I caused it. I was sorry to my parents and my brother for leaving them this way. Yet, as I reflect I am not so sure that is why I was saying I was sorry.

As I laid there, very certain that this was it, the moment of death for me, at the young age of 18. I was not sorry that I was dying though, I think I was saying I was sorry because I did not LIVE! I had floated through life, not realizing my potential, not putting forth the effort needed to be successful. I did not see myself as valuable in this world outside my family. What was I? Who was I? Where was I going?

I was sorry because I did not do my best! I was telling my soul I was sorry! I was sorry for not believing in myself, for not seeing who I was, or where I could go. I was sorry that at this moment I was disappointed in ME.

The greatest fear I think we all have is that at the moment of DEATH, we look back at LIFE and have regrets. Things that we didn’t do…things that we could have done…and a few things that we did do. For me at that moment, it wasn’t that I regretted the things that I had done, but at all the things I passed on because I was shy or timid, or because I over thought things, but in the end they didn’t….happen…..they we left as I wish I would haves…..what if’s.

8 days later I awoke in a hospital bed, in incredible pain, not really sure what had happened. All I knew….was that I was not right. It was for a brief time that I lay in that hospital bed feeling sorry for myself, scared of the future that was before me. Then something changed. I saw this guy on TV, he was in the hospital paralyzed from the chest down from a football accident, his accident had happened a month before mine so we were in very similar struggles. Yet, he was not feeling sorry for himself, he was battling, fighting for every breath…He was a warrior and at that moment I made up my mind that I was too…a WARRIOR. I was not going to accept anything less than a full recovery and more. It was time that I started taking advantage of this wonderful SECOND CHANCE at life….no more, what if’s, no more trying…no more not believing in me….It was time for me to take responsibility for me and my future! To fight for every success, and to fight through ever failure and learn.

It is now 26 years later. I am 44 and have seen my fair share of struggles, I have endured 39 surgeries, constant pain, but I have also seen 26 marvelous years of growth and success. I have 2 great kids, Keenan and Liam. I have a beautiful wife and partner. I have the opportunity to work with some amazing students in the city of Detroit at Osborn High School.

My goals now are to share my experiences with others, to help them see that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE, that they CAN….they WILL…and they MUST Succeed. I want them to see and learn from my struggles to see that they MUST plan, the MUST BELIEVE, and they MUST work for everything they get in life. Lion Heart Motivation is about sharing experiences, learning from one another and growing a greater tomorrow for ALL.”