Comfort for the Heart

Whenever I feel most down, upset, confused or frustrated with my current state of things, I try to remember the stats.

It’s not often that math comforts me. Usually math is the ultimate source of frustration. Math class was always my least favorite during school and math problems were usually just too much of a problem.

But now math, or at least this one single statistic, serves me like a life raft. It’s all I cling to in my darkest hours.

Only four out of every 400, that’s right, 400 people, survive the type of heart failure I experienced in January. Only four out of 400 people, period. Only two of those four survive without brain damage.

I am one of those two.

Some days I wonder whose place I took in that statistic. I think about all the other people who had to die or suffer brain damage to create it. I wonder about their families. About the shock of it all. How a person can go from the height of physical fitness and activity, to dead on the floor, just like that. Product of a symptomless heart condition.

That is not a pleasant thought.

Yet here I am, alive. Alive to enjoy the company of my friends and family. Of my loved ones. Of the people who, for whatever unknown reason, feel like they need me in their lives. I know I sure need them.

That IS a pleasant thought. That I get to enjoy their smiles for another day.

I take comfort in that statistic. No matter the pain or the frustration I feel, I try to remember that life is a miracle. That my life is a miracle. That I am a unicorn that shouldn’t even, by any real measure, still exist in this world without magic.

But I guess there is a little magic left in this world after all. Just enough anyways. I try to remember that. That my life is magic and all the world in it is amazing.

I also try to remember that, while I may not be one in a million, I am 2 in 400 – and that’s good enough for me.


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