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I know this is off topic, but I thought it was worth reading!

This really IS a true story.  I've known Gerry for more than 30 years, and this
is the sort of things that always happens to him.  Thank God he has a sense
of humor and an eloquent pen!
****** Forwarded Message is in next mime section *******

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Yesterday, I received one of those wake-up calls in life that you hear =
about. And, yes, the following is a true story.=20

Ever since I was a child, I occasionally would get a high pitch sound in =
my left ear. I never worried about it until yesterday, because it would =
come, annoy me for awhile (maybe an hour or so), then quietly leave. =
This would happen only a couple of times a year, and since I have been =
blessed with the hearing that approaches a dog's for the other 99.9999% =
of the time, I never thought much of it.=20

I never knew for sure what the origin of it is or was, although a =
psychic once freaked me out because she mentioned it (she had no way of =
knowing about this since I'd never met her). She even told me that the =
problem was because I had been hit in the head with a baseball once when =
I was a kid. Again, she had no way of knowing that but, in fact, I had =
been hit in the head with a line drive when I was a child (insert your =
own joke here). That blew me away and so, for the past 23 years, I =
assumed that was probably the source.=20

So, yesterday, when the all too familiar sound hit me, it didn't =
surprise me. What DID surprise me was how much louder than normal it =
was. In fact, it was so loud and annoying, I thought it must be coming =
from an electrical device. I just had my central heat/air unit replaced =
with a new one and thought that might be it. Especially since the sound =
appeared to get louder when I walked through the hallway where the =
thermostat is mounted. Yep, sure enough, it was louder when I was there. =

I called the A/C company and they said there is NO possibility that the =
thermostat could be causing a high pitched noise like that because there =
is nothing in it that can generate sound. I insisted that the fellow I =
was talking to was wrong. And that I further insisted they come out and =
fix it. They scheduled an appointment for tomorrow.=20

After I hung up the phone (I was in the kitchen now), I noticed the =
sound was almost as loud right there... and I was nowhere near the =
thermostat. Could it really be ME?=20

I walked outside. No sound. "HA!" I thought. It's NOT me... let's go to =
lunch! I hopped in the Cherokee to head out to celebrate the fact that =
it wasn't me with a "Very Happy Meal" ... but wait! The sound was =
back... as loud as ever. It WAS me. Now I was panicked. I realized the =
reason I didn't hear the noise outside was because there was enough =
ambient/white noise surrounding me to drown it out. But there, sitting =
in the sound chamber known as my Jeep Cherokee, the sound was back =
bigger than ever... and I could do nothing to make it stop.=20

I ran back into the house and got some Q-tips to clean my ears, =
desperately thinking that might help. It didn't. The sound was still =
there. And it was more than annoying. It was darn near debilitating but =
mostly from the fact that I couldn't make it go away.=20

Then it hit me... I knew a guy back in the Air Force that had a similar =
problem. It turned out it was a brain tumor that had finally grown big =
enough to press against a nerve, causing the sensation. He ultimately =
had to have brain surgery and, unfortunately, it was not successful.=20

Was this God's plan for me? I'm 52 and I believe in God, though I'm not =
one to preach to others. But I figured if that's all the pages God =
intended for my script, no amount of "post production" would extend it. =
Incidentally, I felt the same helplessness and lack of control for my =
life that I had at the instant I hit the pavement at 70 mph during a =
motorcycle accident that occurred on my 40th birthday. I said to myself =
then what I said to myself now... My life is in your hands, God... "Thy =
will be done."=20

There was a certain amount of comfort (if you can call it that) that =
came from knowing that in the moment of my worst trials, I was willing =
to accept God's will. It allowed me to savor what peace could be =

Now in the case of the motorcycle accident, God's will was that I should =
break a leg and three ribs, and reflect on those passages in the =
bible... you may be familiar with them: The Gospel according to Harley & =
Davidson. I grew a new respect for both God and pavement. My injuries =
healed but the message I apparently took with me (and realized =
yesterday) was that our lives really aren't completely within our =
control. We have to do the best with what we have, but be willing to =
accept that which we cannot, and to accept it when the call comes.=20

Was this, in fact, my call? Was it my time? And, if so, WHY NOW? I just =
got confirmation for my new job as editor of a magazine to start in =
April. After floundering in the waters of depression and uncertainty for =
the past few years, it seemed my ship had finally come in. Well, OK, a =
dinghy, perhaps, but trust me... compared to my accomplishments lately, =
it looked like a cruise ship! Now, could it turn out to be nothing but =
the ghost of the Titanic? Trust me... when you face a crisis where you =
think you may be sleeping with the fish soon, drama comes easy.=20

I made plans to see a doctor today. Just my luck! Less than 2 weeks away =
from having complete medical coverage and now I have to report a =
possible brain tumor?=20

When I finally went to bed last night, I prayed. Not for a miracle, but =
simply to be strong enough to accept what will be. Because the ringing =
was still there and, in the silence of my bedroom, it took on new volume =
due to it being the ONLY sound in the room. Sleep was the only escape =
from this audio invasion. Blessed sleep!=20

When I awoke this morning, the sound was still there. It had NEVER =
lasted this long. I started to get dressed, planning my day: "Call =
doctor... see if I can get an emergency appointment. Call A/C people. =
Tell them not to bother coming out." The only thing with a freon =
shortage appeared to be me.=20

As I put on my pants, I noticed the sound was now back to its fullest. I =
pushed the pants away... the sound faded!=20

Like a child ravaging a package on Christmas morning, I emptied the =
pockets. Still the sound was laughing at me. Then, I noticed a bulge in =
the pants which, unfortunately, was NOT attributable to me. Something =
was still in the pants pocket. I reached in and there, in the very =
bottom of the pants pocket, was my cell phone WEDGED in such a way that =
a button was pressed by a coin caught between the keypad and the flip =
door. When I opened the phone, the "Low Battery" indicator came on. I =
turned the phone off and the sound died with it.=20

Till her dying day, my dog Copper will probably never understand why her =
Pappa danced with her on that very weird morning. But dance with her, I =
DID. For I had learned some very important life lessons that I now share =
with you:=20

1.) It has now been certifiably proven: Cell phones CAN be hazardous to =
your (mental) health!   It helps to be smarter than the phone.

2.) When your life seems to be out of your control, if you have faith in =
God, Allah, or whatever, place that faith in His hands and relax. If it =
really IS out of your hands, then you cannot change the course. Accept =
it and you will know peace. It may not always wind up being a cell =
phone, but there's a certain comfort in knowing you can put your soul =
into the hands of someone, some THING more powerful and accept the =
decision that may come.
3.) Then again, check your pockets. You never know...


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