It was September 11, 1992 when God Himself stopped me. It was a drastic measure, but one necessary to prevent me from walking into the mighty Pacific without looking back. It was my way, the only way.

Oh, beautiful Kauai, my heaven on earth! It would be there where I’d take my last glass of wine, my final shot of scotch and my last breath. I had planned it so well, I thought. I had booked a flight from Chicago to arrive Kauai on September 12, 1992 – the day before my final birthday – September 13. I wanted to perform my “dead man walking” on my birthday. You all know the story, “Leaving Las Vegas,” right?

That is the movie where the character played by Nicolas Cage goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. Well, I was “Leaving Kauai” and why, you may ask. Because I had grown tired of witnessing all the pain and suffering in this world, the cruelty, the disregard for each other. Also, I had enough of my own struggles, the constant battles fighting my alcoholism, the harsh memories of finding my father dead after he had died about three days before I had gone to visit him. I also had enough of the past, my past where every turn seemed to take me to another dead end.

But something happened, something so powerful that I was stopped from performing my final dance upon the shorelines of Kauai. I must believe, this time, it took God Himself to stop me.

On the evening of September 11, 1992, the night before my flight I was sitting in Tony’s Tavern, saying my goodbyes (unbeknown to those, my final goodbye), downing my scotch when suddenly the news broke. A Special Report on the television: “A fierce hurricane had hit Kauai head on.”

Half drunk, I thought maybe I was not really hearing right. I got up off my stool, moved closer to the television. Through the smoke and the haze I focused on it as much as my half-drunkenness would allow.

Projected to me on the blurry screen were the twisted palm trees, the over-turned homes, the upended boats. I recognized what once was the idyllic shoreline of Poipu, now in twisted disarray. I cried, cried some more. Now what am I going to do? All ports would surely be closed now, I thought.

I immediately went to the phone booth and called United Airlines. It was confirmed. My flight tomorrow to Kauai was canceled. Now what? I went back to my stool, and with tears running down my cheeks, I faced the truth. I was probably better off alive.

I took the last gulp of my drink and left the tavern and walked to the neighborhood park, where I sat and thought and cried and cried some more.  I asked myself over and over, Why? How could this possibly have happened? Why was I stopped from going to Kauai to kill myself? Am I really better off alive? What purpose do I have here? Do I really still belong here?

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But Why?

And then, September 11, 2001, now living in Las Vegas, I was intent on celebrating the anniversary of my rebirth. I hopped in my car and was on my way to breakfast when the news broke through the song I was listening to, “Silent Lucidity.” At first, I thought it was a practical joke, reminding me of that old Orson Welle’s Halloween prank, the one broadcast on the radio: “We’re being invaded by Martians” which ultimately caused pandemonium and mass hysteria throughout the land.

I quickly turned to another radio station. Same thing. This can’t be happening, there’s no way. This has to be some kind of cruel joke. Another Station: “Both World Trade Center Buildings are on fire!” I kept driving, my heart pounding, the palms of my hands gripping the steering wheel, trying desperately to retain control. “A passenger jet had slammed into the Pentagon.” No, this can’t be real!

I turned on another station. “News just in from Pennsylvania – a plane had crashed in a field.” What the hell is going on? Is this the end of the world? I arrived at the restaurant, and with my own two eyes, witnessed on their television, the horrific events. I really had not the stomach for egg omelets or pancakes. Not now. “Miss Waitress, just bring me a large glass of cranberry juice.”

I sat and slowly drank the juice, tears falling down my cheeks. Patrons all around, also staring intently at the television in disbelief, their own faces reddened from sadness. I knew I had to get home. Pass McCarran International airport I drove. There was not a plane in the sky, neither coming in nor taking off. All was quiet now except the beating of my heart. Many questions arose and struck hard at my conscience but still I drove on, aiming for home.

Note: See also Hurricane Fico (Fico, being my birth name) Coincidence? I no longer have the ability to believe in such powerful coincidences. To further my beliefs, check the formation date, July 9. When I learned this I about flew out of my chair. Again, another connection to O.J. Simpson (more) 

Ah, but then, I had learned that  July 9 is also the birth of Akiane Kramarik Akiane is indeed the embodiment of  the “Good,” the “Godly”  and for this, I am rather pleased. Her amazing gifts are our gifts.

A Brief Editorial:

The myriad of synchronicities and serendipitous encounters in my life have been truly revealing – and to be honest, at times, earth shaking. 

In the beginning I had asked myself many times, “Why?” or “Why me?” I no longer do. I have come to accept my place, my role in this sometime crazy world. And to offer what I’ve been given is truly a blessing!

Isn’t that what it’s really about? Each one of us offering what we’ve been given to build upon the foundation of harmony, tranquility, contentment and success in our combined constructs.

Again, one of my quotes in which I wrote no so long ago: “The foundation is but the base and it is the collection of building blocks that creates what many should strive to ascend.”

A Note: I don’t believe in God because of religion but by my own personal experiences and revelations that have been provided me. If there isn’t a POWER GREATER THAN MYSELF, then somebody who has the Power of God has been playing tricks with my soul.