Last night I did something really stupid (yes stupid, I really hate to use the S word, but there is no other way to describe this event), I got in bed to watch a movie, and not exactly an action packed one, so Rick falls asleep in about about 20 minutes and I'm watching and sucking on a starlight mint, you know one of those round pink and white stripped candies, well the next thing I know I wake up with a terrifying start and I'm choking, and I mean really choking, not the something went down the wrong way kind of choking, but the absolutely no air is getting through kind of choking. So I fly out of bed and without even thinking about it, in all my glorious panic, I grab myself around the middle and "self Heimlich" and out pops my sticky, previously lodged in my throat, mint. At this point Rick rolls over over, looks at me and says; "what are you doing?" after which he immediately rolls back over and goes immediately back to sleep. For about three seconds I'm looking at this sticky piece of candy laying on the bed and thinking, I could just put this in your hair and explain in the morning, but it quickly passed and I picked up the candy and threw it out. I was pretty shaken up and my throat really hurt bad, it still felt like something was caught in there, but I could breathe just fine, so I figured I must be OK. Alright, I'm not OK; my heart is beating like when the phone rings at 2 am and wakes you out of a dead sleep, but I am breathing. Needless to say, I am not going back to sleep anytime soon, so I finish watching the movie and then read a few chapters in "The Count of Monte Cristo" (not your most cheerful read), before I can even think about sleeping.
Had a hard time waking up this morning, but I'm thinking waking up is a good think, my throat has a dull ache in the right side, I'm kind of hoarse and coughing and I have a little bit of a dull headache (probably from only a few hours of sleep). Got up with Rick and came upstairs, when I told him, he didn't remember waking up or anything,k I don't think he really took me seriously about the choking thing, so I didn't make too big a deal of it before he went to work. Got on the Internet and saw all the news releases about Japan and the impending tsunamis heading toward Hawaii and the US West Coast,this pretty much put the candy, choking and irritation at Rick out of my mind. As the day wore on, and the reports of the devastation in Japan and the people who were displaced in the US because of evacuations had me back thinking about how dumb decisions in a split second can be and are vital to our very lives.
I started thinking what woke me up. You hear horror stories about people choking in their sleep and not waking up, so what makes the difference. I do pray daily for the protection of the Spirit or Holy Ghost, is that what it was, or does that always happen, is it some function of your brain when your body can't breathe? I really don't know. I couldn't help thinking how dumb it would be to die after having done something so simply foolish. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would fall asleep with that candy in my mouth, never did I think there was any danger in having a piece of hard candy in my mouth while laying in bed, watching a movie, never ever did I think such a simple action could be so dangerous.
On a day like today, everyone would have to admit that it has been made absolutely obvious just exactly how fragile life is, but who would have thought I would have my own personal experience with just how simple decisions that we don't even consciously make, maybe daily, can affect our lives in such a critical way. As I read the posts on "the social network" I subscribe too, and hear all of the people who are so grateful to hear form family and friends who have been in harms way today, when I read the posts that say they are so grateful to live where they do, particularly, out of harms way, I am reminded that life is fragile no matter where you live, no matter what seemingly harmless activities you pursue and that there is no way to know what dangers lurk in our lives. I have no doubt of the protection that the Spirit affords each and every one of us. I also have no doubt how often, so many of us, ignore the promptings, warnings and guidance that the Holy Ghost offers. No matter what scientific or physiological explanations might be offered for waking me up and the immediate reaction to dislodge this object from my throat, I will always be grateful for a most precious gift I received twenty-six years ago and that is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the promise to have Him always be with me, as long as I remain worthy of His companionship and protection. On a day like today, who could argue with that.