30 Days of Truth - Day 25

The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

I very nearly died before I was even born. My mother started hemorrhaging at around week 30 and was taken into hospital. Because of the seriousness of the situation she stayed there until I was born. Apparently I spent the first couple of months in an incubator because I was born prematurely and had some complications.

When I was three I slipped through the railings of a bridge and nearly fell into a waterfall about 20 feet below. My father caught the collar of my coat and pulled me back. When I was six I fell into the deep end of a swimming pool. I couldn't swim. My brother grabbed me and swam to the shallow end.

In my early teens I was attacked by a man with a knife. I was lucky to get away with quite minor injuries. In my late teens I came off my motorbike and was dragged under it along the road for quite some way. Other than scraping the skin off down to the bone I was largely unhurt. Good leathers. In my twenties I was in a car accident. The car was written off but I walked away with bruises only. A few years ago I had a series of minor strokes. And this time last year the lump I'd found was diagnosed as nothing more serious that a benign tumour.

I remember once being told about my guardian angel. I was sleeping out having got stuck without any money about 50 miles from home at night time. I'd found a haystack and was using it as a bed. When I woke up there was a travelling man resting not far away. He told me that he'd seen a shining man standing over me in the night. How I wish I'd seen this angel ... or any angel for that matter.

I'm not sure that there is a reason that I am alive today. That doesn't mean I don't thank my lucky stars that I am though. I try to remember to be grateful every day.


  1. Jos, this is yet another thing we have in common, I only weighed 2 pounds when I was born and had to spend my frist 3 months in an incubator too. I have also had many near death events, but not as many as you :-). I love the story about the angel, that must give you great comfort during rough times. xoxo

  2. I am glad you are alive.

    It has always amazed me. A simple fall in ones home is enough to extinquish a life, and yet there are those, like you, who no power on earth seems able touch, until your time is up. How very fascinating.

  3. I too was born premature and kept in an oxygen tent for nearly 2 months. As a result I am legally blind on the left eye, but I can see through the fog of it. That was sixty five years ago and my chances of survival then were as good as those of an ice cube in Hades. You know about my many battles with cancer, being hit by a car and left for dead. I am still here.

    I don't know about Guardian Angels but that they exist, of that I am sure. Whether they are a reflection of a superior intelligence that designed each of us for a purpose and thus, our life time is not done here until the purpose is fulfilled or simply we love life with such a passion and intensity that in spite of all its gory details and all the multiple incidents of happenstance that mold our life, we still here until we, ourselves somehow, in some mysterious way decide we are done.

    Either way, I am glad you are here. I mean this and I hope you know it. Happy Christmas to you and may the new year bring peace and contentment wrapped in good health and good will.

  4. i just won the lottery. this is not only wonderfully written and intimately revealing, but here is allegra with all her wisdom and perspective.

    jos, the story of the angel: i don't know what to say. i don't believe, but really i do believe. i think renee is/was an angel. i will remember how you've described yourself in the haystack. i will remember who you are and that i'm glad to know you for even longer.