I know that it sounds crazy, but if God had not blessed me with a brain tumor, I would not know the things that I know today. I would not have the courage to live every day as if were my last. I know now what really matters in life. I have learned not to sweat the small stuff and that yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come, but today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present! I open this precious gift each day by thanking God for restoring my soul and giving me one more day to enjoy this beautiful place He created, to enjoy the wonderful family that I have been blessed with, to enjoy all of my wonderful friends, to serve my wonderful community, and to just enjoy my life today! I have so much to be grateful for but I never realized it before, until it was almost taken away from me.
My journey began in the summer of 2008, and after months of enduring the most excruciating pain in my head that I have ever felt in my life, I decided to go to the doctor. I had not gone earlier because I was in the midst of preparing for my son’s Bar Mitzvah. On April 13, 2009, I was diagnosed with a meningioma tumor the size of a baseball that was located behind my left ear. I was stunned, this was the last thing that I expected and with all the things that I had to do, all I could think of was..."How was I ever going to fit this into my busy schedule?" The doctor told me that it was benign, but my only option was to have it surgically removed due to the size of the tumor. This is the kind of diagnosis that allows fear to set in no matter how strong one thinks they are.
My surgery date was set for April 29, 2009, but I actually ended up in the Emergency Room five days prior because the pain I was experiencing was so severe it felt as if my head was about to explode. I woke up two days after surgery on May 1, 2009, and I was crying uncontrollably. At the time, I could not explain to my mother why I was crying, but I cried for ten days straight after waking up. Looking back now, I think that I cried because I was so happy to be alive. I knew right there and then that my life would never be the same again. There was a reason why I was still alive and I was determined to find out why.
Thus, my search began to find my purpose in life, to discover my inner self, and to further understand that I am really not in control of my life and that everything happens for a reason. Since then, I no longer fear death. Fear of death causes fear of life. Every second of our life involves a choice and we can either choose to live in fear, void of meaning, being a victim, and not fulfilling our purpose in life. Where once I lived my life going 100 mph each day, stressed out and angry, I have now found an inner peace that I have never know before. It is an indescribable feeling; I have no doubts and no fears. I pray that God will grant me the wisdom and the inspiration to help other people and that He grants me the patience to hear their story without judging them.