Suck Out All the Marrow of Life

When I was a little kid, I loved to suck the marrow out of the bones that were in the chicken curry I would eat for dinner. It’s been a long time since those days of bone marrow.

This particular day is a special day for me.
It has been for eight years running.

I’ve always wanted a December birthday; and in a way, I now have one. This day.
There’s something about this time of the year that seems more special than most.
For the past eight years, I appreciate it even more than I ever did before.

Most every person who knows me, or if you’ve been reading this blog for some time, knows why today is so special. On this day, I celebrate both a second chance at life as well as celebrating the birth of a new life.

On 12/22/08, I was crossing Damen Ave in Chicago towards the North/Milwaukee/Damen intersection on the way to the el, to catch the Blue Line train taking me to the Careerbuilder offices in the Loop. Next thing I know, it’s 7:28 AM and I am waking up in the middle of the intersection with cars still whizzing by on each side. I had been hit by a car going about 30 mph. Three years later to the day, on 12/22/11, my niece Beatrix was born.

Oftentimes, when I am on the treadmill, I read as I listen to music. With classic rock, hip hop, heavy metal, techno, trance or some such blasting in my ears, my eyes move from page to page reading Hemingway, Steinbeck, Emerson, etc. One morning working out, I read a passage by Thoreau that echoed my thoughts moments before and after my car accident.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”

While I no longer suck the marrow from bones, I have not stopped sucking “out all of the marrow of life.”

Eight years ago, I was given the gift of life yet again.

And I have never looked back.

So today, I celebrate my niece’s birthday, and my very own.

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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