I Don’t Think I Could Do It

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Right before Thanksgiving, I had the honor of presenting for Ingalls Health Medical Retreat in Chicago. On occasion, I’ll be asked to speak to audiences that just comprised of medical staff. This was one of them. And by medical staff, I mean physicians and surgeons.

After the presentation, I met a bunch of the docs. I don’t even remember if I caught this doc’s name, but I’ll never forget his story.

Around a decade ago, his wife, son and sister in law were all killed in an MVA caused by a drunk driver. The surgeon himself was also injured in the crash. Pretty seriously injured, if memory serves.

As a 20+ year member of MADD, I’ve heard a lot of tragic stories. And not just through MADD, but in my professional life, too. Hearing my experiences helps individuals to feel comfortable sharing their own tragedies, as was the case with this doc.

Screen shot 2015-12-07 at 12.54.29 PMThe thing that struck me about this surgeon was that the entire time we were talking, he was smiling. Contentment just seemed to radiate from inside. This is NOT the case with many people who share their horror stories. In fact, this certainly isn’t psychic or anything like that, but there’s a certain feeling or aura that seems to be more pronounced if the person is still grieving a loss. I refer to this feeling as “residue.” And I know I have residue. Probably always will. Residue may sound like it’s something negative or dark. Often it is, but I also just use it to refer to some of the baggage we human beings carry after something horrible. Again, this surgeon was smiling and jovial. I believe he may have even used some terminology about how it was a changing point in life…and that now life is appreciated more.

Friends, I don’t think I could be like this doc. When it comes to forgiveness and putting the past in the past, in my case, that’s possible. But, I just think if the Hotness or one of my daughters or a bro or sis in law were killed by someone else? I just don’t think I’d be smiling. In fact, I don’t know if I could get over that. This became my Facebook status afterward.

Several FB friends commented with stuff like, “Marcus, your story is inspirational, too” or “Don’t sell yourself short…a lot of people are touched by your story like you were by his.”

Screen shot 2015-12-07 at 12.50.58 PMTrust me, I wasn’t looking for sympathy or an ego boost. As a friend used to say, “If you’re looking for sympathy, you’ll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.”

I guess that when it comes to moving on, if it’s personal and individual, I can do that. But if someone I love gets hurt? I just don’t know if I could forgive so quickly.

What about you? Have you personally been hurt by another? Were you able to move on? Have you also had people you love hurt? Was it easier to move on? More difficult? These are just my random musings on a Monday morning.

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