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A Story About When Death Comes Calling That Will Help Improve Your Life

It was a cold, wet, dreary winter night when death came calling.

​​I was at work, the sleet and snow coming down so fast you could hardly see your nose in front of your face.

I sure was glad I’d put my thermal underwear on, but even with them underneath my one-inch-thick insulated overalls, I was chilled to the bone.

All I wanted was that night to be over with so I could go home and snuggle with my new bride of three months and sip on some hot chocolate while watching a movie.

But That Wasn’t To Be…

You see, I worked for the railroad as a brakeman.

On that night, we were in downtown Troup, Texas switching box cars in and out onto the main track so that they could be picked up by another train coming through in a few hours.

Since the locomotive had to go out and block a road crossing every now and then, I had to stand in the crossing with my lantern and flare just in case a vehicle approached and couldn’t see the train in the middle of the road.

Just then, a drunk driver being chased by a Texas State Trooper came flying up the road right down the middle of this small town doing 110 mph.

You guessed it; at that very moment me and the front end of the locomotive were slap dab in the middle of the road crossing.

The drunk’s car hit a small berm that was placed before the railroad tracks to slow vehicles down kind of like a speed bump today. When his car hit the berm it literally catapulted in the air.

Now, I don’t remember any of what happened next, but this was what the reports from the state trooper and the rest of the railroad crew stated.

Nowhere To Run…

As the car went airborne, The crew and the Trooper saw my lantern and flare shoot about 18 to 20 feet into the air over the top of the locomotive.

The drunk’s car hit the front end of the locomotive up where the walkway and guardrail were cartwheeling around it, flipping numerous times on the opposite side of the train before coming to rest on its side.

The engineer immediately threw the air brakes on stopped the train, the state trooper jumped out of his car, and two other workers on the job began frantically looking for me.

They looked to both sides of the train and even underneath it trying to find me but all they could find was particles of clothing close to where I was standing at the time.

After 20 minutes they still hadn’t found me, so they went toward the drunk’s car. The car had flipped approximately 75 yards down the road before coming to rest on its side.

As they approached the car, the conductor noticed something halfway between both ends of the car.

He walked up shining his lantern to get a better look, and that’s where he found me.

I was on the ground two feet from the car, and if it had rolled one more time, it would have crushed me.

Flying Can Be Hazardous To Your Health…

After the investigation it was summarized that when I was hit, the lantern, flare, and my body are what were seen flying over the locomotive. There was no other plausible explanation.

The impact had catapulted me 18 to 20 feet in the air and 75 yards down the road.

When they found me, all I had on were my tee shirt, underwear, and socks. It had literally knocked me out of my clothes. I was unconscious and near dead when the ambulance arrived.

They frantically worked on me all the way to the hospital, which was 20 miles away.

When I opened my eyes, all I could see was bright white.

It was puzzling. Where was I? What happened?

Then a figure disrupted the brightness.

It was the face of my new bride crying with a smile as she looked down at me.

I had been unconscious for five days.

The Truth Doesn’t Always Set You Free…

While freaking out over these questions and circumstances I had going on in my mind, a doctor entered the room.

He said, “The impact of the car hitting you at 110 mph should have burst you like a balloon, and it is only by the grace of God you’re alive. This is the only explanation we have for you surviving the impact.

You have multiple deep lacerations on various areas of your body, but a shattered right femur  where 5 inches of the bone blew out the side of your leg is the most serious of your injuries which is quite unbelievable.”

A complete prognosis of what my future would look like would be available shortly after surgery.

Not Too Pleased With Where Life Was Heading

Surgery was a so-called success according to the doctors.

But their prognosis of my future was more on the line of unthinkable to me.

I would have limited mobility in my leg for the rest of my life, so I just needed to accept the fact that I’d need to make some pretty drastic changes to my lifestyle but it was possible to have a normal healthy life otherwise.

They continued to caution me on what to do and not do when released, yadda-yadda-yadda.

“Bullcrap!”

I’d heard enough.

By the sound of things, life wasn’t heading in the direction I thought and planned it would, especially for the next few years or so.

What You Do Today Affects Your Life Tomorrow, But How Is Up To You…

After being at home for a while dealing with the excruciating pain and the thoughts of what the doctors had told me was near unbearable.

Then one day, it finally all came to a head. My pity party of why me had to STOP. It was time for someone to take control of the situation of changing my life for the better. Seeing the doctors weren't going to do anything else but jump to their next patient the responsibility to how my life was to turn out was left up to me alone or that's how I saw it then.

I came up with a plan — not too smart of a plan, or that's what I thought since everyone was all about setting goals and moving up the corporate ladder. So, everyone's mindset back then was about Me! Me! Me! To help them focus more on goals they were using Vision Boards, a great tool that had come out in the business world.

I decided to make a vision board into a CRAP LIST of what I hated in my life, and at the top of it was the doctors’ prognosis.

Plain And Simple Here's What My Crap List Looked Like At The Time

  1. Doctors - I would be on crutches a minimum of 18 months, Me, Bull-crap! Within 12 months, I would be walking without crutches.
  2. Doctors - I would have to use a cane just to walk for the rest of my life. Me, Bull-crap! Within 18 months, I would be running.
  3. Doctors - I would have limited mobility in my leg with numerous complications and surgery. Me,  Bull-crap! Within 24 months, my leg would be healed completely, without any difficulties, and I'd be back playing tennis, it wouldn’t have change anything but leaving a scar to remember my victory.
  4. Anything Less Is Unacceptable, PERIOD!

I taped my list on the refrigerator door so it would be staring me in the face every time I entered the kitchen. Not only that but I cut out pictures of tennis players and other athletes which I had distributed around the house. (I loved playing tennis)

After doing all this, every time I saw one of them it would make me so mad that my blood would feel like it was boiling and ready to erupt like a violent volcano.

Because in my mind these were the things I loved that I would be missing out on because of some stupid drunk driver.

As months passed, I noticed something shocking. My blood wasn’t boiling like it did in the beginning.

Instead, after looking at the list for a few minutes, I’d just walk away with no real emotional ties to the words or pictures anymore.

It’s All About Mindset Or You Would Think

I noticed my attitude, belief, and confidence were all soaring like a powerful eagle in the sky. Doubts, fears, and questions about my recovery and the doctors’ prognosis were all fading away because I was willing it to be that way. That’s how I looked at it at the time.

My mission — 100% recovery, no crutches, no canes, and do whatever I wanted. A Note Here: the only thing that wasn't changing concerning the doctor's diagnosis was his words, “only by the grace of God you’re alive.” I would realize later on that He saved me for a reason and I had a purpose in life but that's another story yet to be told.

Well, here’s how it finally all turned out.

In 12 months, I was walking without crutches or a cane. In 18 months, I was jogging. In 24 months, I was back to my old self and playing tennis just had a steel rod in my leg now. Oh yea, and a pretty nasty looking scar to remind me of those years.

Even though the doctors said it was a one-in-a-million shot to have such a successful recovery, I knew exactly what was behind it all, GOD, Faith, a positive mindset, along with a never give up attitude.

Everyone struggles and has challenges in their lives, and we all experience them in one form or another. Some small and petty but some huge and demoralizing.

The most terrifying of them all is, when you wake up one morning realizing your life hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live life this way.

I stated earlier, “I came up with a plan — not too smart of a plan or so I thought at the time.”

Making my Crap List helped me eradicate the emotional strain, build confidence, and boost my self-esteem enough to overcome the challenges in my life. Oh, and with a whole lot of God’s help.

But it all began with Taking Action, doing something!

Create your own crap list for happiness and success. By the way don’t forget the most important element (Jesus) because without Him you’ll most likely fail,

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

The reflection you see in a mirror is who you are now; the image looking back sees who you can be.

Face it — if you’re sick and tired of the direction your life is heading, and if you want to design a life you truly desire, you must escape the I-Robot or zombie mentality that society has impregnated your mind with.

You’ve let society or someone rob you of your dreams. The essence of who you are and who you can be.

There’s no way you can just sit back hoping and praying that life will get better through some immaculate conception.

It takes guts along with a little subliminal knowledge of how your mind works, determination and perspiration to get what you want out of life, plus God’s help.

The image in the mirror looking back at you is a genius and knows how to get what you want.

No one on this planet is just like you.

You are a unique, special one-of-a-kind creation with abilities to create the life you desire.

The one-of-a-kind fingerprints, DNA, and brainwave patterns you possess validate all this.

So, take charge of your life, start dreaming, and live life on your own terms that is with God’s Wisdom. You are unique and one-of-a-kind...

What we can learn...
Your thoughts, mind, and emotions are far more powerful than you could ever imagine. They can and will create your reality. When you are determined to do something and add action to it nothing is insurmountable. WARNING: This goes for good or evil so, be very careful for what you seek. NOTE: Asking for God’s help is highly suggested.

PS: Repetitive thoughts (those that consume your day) create habits. Those habits eventually create your beliefs. And your beliefs ultimately create who you are inside and out. The person the world sees and knows.

Mirror-Mirror on the wall, am I a success after all?

Remember God has a purpose and destiny for your life, doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from He has a plan just for you.

You can be all you were meant to be so, don't give up!

   Pappi  

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