Do you feel unlucky or generally unsatisfied with your life? Think that things are not looking too good for you? With all due respect, a neighbor of mine, a 45-year-old war veteran and until recently, an active officer of the military force, will most likely disagree with you.
What’s so special about him?
Well, the stream of bad luck that caught this guy is simply unbelievable. And yet, against all odds, he’s still pushing forward.
After surviving 4 years on the front lines, leading the platoon, he got reassigned to run the logistics in one of the army barracks. The army figured that it would be best to move him away from the field after he spent 4 years dodging bullets, mines and projectiles.
It took him a while to get used to this new lifestyle, but pretty soon he learned to appreciate the silence of the army warehouse.
One autumn night, at 1 am, he heard the doorbell. The man jumped from his bed and rushed to open the door of his 3-bedroom suite. His mind was already rushing to conclusion that he simply couldn’t accept.
Two cops were staring at him with an ominous look in their eyes. He knew one of them.
“Hello Gabe. I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. Your son, Robert, got hit by a speeding car. Rescue team did everything they possibly could but they weren’t able to save him.”
To make things even worse, Robert got killed only 200 yards away, while walking home. 17-year-old, who didn’t even get the chance to taste the life, fell a victim of a 55-year-old drunken driver.
Cruel as it is, this was not the end of Gabe’s ordeals
A year later, in an attempt to collect as many cherries as possible for his younger son and wife, Gabe decided to climb higher up the tree; something he’s been doing his entire life.
Suddenly, he heard cracking noise under his feet. Thick old branch finally gave up and snapped under the pressure of Gabe’s weight.
With a bag almost completely filled with cherries in one hand and a small piece of branch that he held onto, Gabe dropped down through the dense treetop and landed straight on his back, snapping 3 vertebrae.
All alone, with no one anywhere within the reach of his voice, Gabe desperately tried to pull the cell phone out of his pocket. It took him a while, but finally he managed to dial home and tell his wife Irene what happened.
Luckily, his spinal cord was undamaged and few months later, Gabe was back on his feet, only strapped with the piece of medical equipment that was holding his back tight and straight. He looked sincerely funny trying to reach something from the ground, believe you me.
Things were finally getting back to normal after doctors removed the “device” from his chest and back.
Happy and positive, my neighbor decided to celebrate by lawning some mawn at the countryside.
A fairly large orchard was desperate for some ground works. The grass was already reaching the lower branches of all those apples and plums he had up there.
So Gabe grabbed the lawnmower. If he doesn’t do it, nobody will.
15 minutes later, while trying to trim the grass around one of the smallest apple trees, Gabe’s left foot slipped on the wet grass and ended up under the rotating knife of the powerful, 3.5 HP mower.
“Pain was simply unbelievable,” Gabe told me a couple of days later. “I was afraid to even look at my foot, but I knew I had to wrap it up with something to stop the bleeding.”
Once again, there was nobody around. And this time, he didn’t even have his mobile phone with him. Gabe wanted to spend the day detached from civilization.
Luckily, an hour later, neighbor came by to check up on him and perhaps have a glass of wine. Good thing the old guy was always on a lookout for a drink.
In total, 3 toes and one toenail got torn from his foot.
And it happened only a day after doctors released him from the “strap-on,” as he called that shit holding his back.
- A son that lost his life so suddenly, brutally and above all, entirely unexpectedly.
- Mourning wife who attempted suicides on two occasions.
- Completely spoiled and fucked up younger son.
- Permanently damaged back.
- Few toes and one toenail missing from the foot.
- Powerful painkillers for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in 3 am.
- Disability to perform duties and early retirement.
- Much, much lower incomes.
That’s the cumulative of the chain of events that happened in less than 2 years’ time.
Some people would put the bullet in their heads or start emptying bottles.
But Gabe was not that people.
A few days ago, I went to see him. His younger son told me that he got up early and went to collect apples in the orchard. Once I got there, I saw Gabe and few more folks, sitting under the big oak tree having fun. 50 yards away, there were dozens of crates filled with apples. Gabe did the most of the work alone, with one foot wrapped in bandages and sore back.
Our point is simple
You have approximately 75 turns of the Earth around the Sun before you leave this planet – one way or another. What you do with that ridiculously limited time determines the quality of your life.
You have 2 options; the two routes people usually take and spend the most of their lives walking that chosen path:
- Continue bitching and blaming like 97% of the population tend to do and live in misery for the rest of your life.
- Be like Gabe.
Keep pushing forward no matter what because even if it seems that things could not possibly get any worse, trust me, they could. I’ve seen it.
People lose their health, their toes, their arms and legs. Spines snap. Heart attacks and cancers are taking epidemic proportions. Car crashes are happening every second. Folks are falling victims of unexplainable and sudden acts of violence. Fires. Earthquakes. Wars. Permanent disabilities that prevent men from even being able to feed themselves, let alone to walk or get dressed.
You can talk.
You can walk.
You can use your hands.
You can make stuff.
You can drink.
You can eat.
Shit, you can even think.
It gives you an unlikely advantage. Use it. Don’t bitch about it.