16 Years Later. . .
“The most damaged people are the wisest. . . because they do not wish to see anyone suffer the way they do.” - Anonymous.
For the longest time, I have been locking up all my suffering & pain from the 7 most challenging years of my life inside me, and it’s about time I write this to share what I went through to have the life I have today. My goal in writing this is to share some of my worst experiences that shaped who I am, as well as some new wisdom that you might not have heard of before.
7 Hours Before Death. October 2004.
I was 3 weeks old when my parents were informed that I was dying. It wasn’t a deadly disease or cancer, but rather I was struggling to breathe. When the doctors scanned me, I was diagnosed with Supercardiac Total Anomalous Venous Return (TAPVR). In simple terms, the blood vessels returning from the lungs were partially to totally disconnected from my heart. Oxygen-rich blood does not return from the lungs to the left atrium. Instead, the oxygen-rich blood returns to the right side of the heart.
At this point, it was life-or-death for me. My parents rushed me from the doctor to LA Children’s Hospital, where I underwent open-heart surgery to save my life. And I Survived.
The people who operated told my parents that had I arrived approximately 7 hours later, I would have been dead. Oxygen-rich blood would not be able to reach my heart.
Everything is given to you, even life. You are privileged from the beginning. So shut up if you say that other people are more privileged than you. If they were privileged, they would have multiple lives. Everything (money, fame, food, life) can die at any given moment.
All I Want For X-mas Is A Bed!. . . For The 3rd Time! 2010 → 2015.
I am about 5 years old at the time, and my family was sleeping with my grandparents for about 7 months as my father was looking for a place to move into after we left our old apartment.
It was very crowded in that tiny apartment: my father, my mother, my younger brother, my grandpa, my grandma, and me. Sometimes we would have to wait our turn to get food from the kitchen, or we would sometimes get food from the Mexican taco/burrito truck 2 blocks down the road close to the church we attended.
But the worst part about it was sleeping on the floor for the next 3 years. My family and I slept on the wooden floor with a thin layer of polymer coating of my grandparent’s apartment for the time we were there. It felt painful because there was only wood to support my back, which was quite messed up at the time due to bad posture.
When we finally moved into Apartment #109 (which would be my family’s home for the next 6 years), I thought I would be getting a comfy place to sleep.
There was only one bed in the bedroom. But nobody used the bed, since it was too small to fit all 4 of us. So the entire family still slept on the floor with a mattress and some thick blankets.
For the remainder of the time we lived in Apartment #109, I slept on the floor, and I became so used to it that I asked some of my friends from elementary school if they also slept on the floor. They either laughed at me or they told me I was insane.
So on my X-mas List to “Santa” & “Los Reyes Magos”, all I asked was for a bed for me to sleep. Also because my back was becoming “deformed”. Today I have scoliosis because of my poor posture.
But I wasn’t giving up on the fact that I would get my own bed one day!
And then finally, my family moved into our new home, and low & behold, in front of me was my new bed! :))
Mentality is used for a short-term obstacle. Use mindsets for a long-term obstacle.
Bye, Abuelita. 2019 → Present.
The last time I was able to stay in Mexico for a good while was also the last time I would see the oldest member of my family: my great-grandmother Abuelita Licha.
She started feeling sick because she accidentally drank one too many Electrolits. She has to drink them for her to be able to receive certain electrolytes, vitamins, and nutrients that she can’t consume from solid foods alone.
I didn’t know that this happened, but when we arrived in Ejutla de Crespo, Oaxaca, Mexico, we were given the news that she was close to her end.
I was heartbroken. When I used to live in Ejutla as a young child, she would always take to me to school, take care of me after school, buy me ice cream, take me to church, and take me to soccer practice.
And now, all those memories were about to go down with her. :(
Approximately 7 hours before she passed away, I saw her for the last time. In a quiet voice, my great-grandmother asked her daughter to bring me in to see her for about 7 minutes. I don’t remember that much, but these words will stay with me forever (translated from Spanish):
“Carlitos, the world is broken. But it’s very wise. And so are you. You are part of this world. Don’t leave it broken. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do or what you went through. Promise you will try to help out the world. One day you will. Love you, Carlitos.” 🙏🏽
7 Reflections. 💭
Don’t tell anyone what they went through. Don’t stereotype the fu*k out of them. You don’t know. Your perspective lacks the experience.
Developing new mentalities consistently is the currency for mental strength.
The most successful people train the body, mindsets. . . and their mentality.
You were born unique. So stay unique.
Do things for yourself to reach success, but thank others for helping you achieve success. Others helped you get there.
Most of us reflect on wisdom quotes & like the tweet, but not many try to experience it for themselves to internally grasp the concept/knowledge.
Be you and you will be.
Closing Thoughts. 💡
Shoutout to my true friends for telling me I could change something someday.
Shoutout to my family when I promised them one day when I was sleeping on the wooden floor, “One day, I would change something.”
Shoutout to my great-grandmother to tell her someday, “Abuela, I did it. I changed something.”
© 2021 by Carlos Manuel Jarquin Sanchez. All Rights Reserved.