Therapists and some doctors suggest people should not make any major decisions until a year after experiencing a dramatizing event. I completely ignored this advice. Looking back, I never stopped moving. I made all sorts of decisions in an effort to shout out to the world my gratitude for life and how grateful we all should be for the time we have been allotted by a loving God.
I must admit, they may have been right because at times I do feel like life is out of control. Maybe that means I'm normal. Regardless, we all experience ups and downs.
I'm grateful for Carma Wadley of the Deseret News who wrote a beautiful piece that has helped me put my life into perspective. Whether the article inspired readers, I don't know. But it certainly has helped me focus much deeper on why I do what I do. Who needs a therapist to explain your life to you when you have a wonderful journalist like Carma?
Benefit celebrates musician's 'New Life'
It's not just about the heart — the one he was never sure he would get in time — although, that, certainly, is part of it.
But it's also about knowing that someone else had to die so that he could live.
It's about learning to live in a world without a beloved brother, who was killed in a tragic incident. It's about learning more of the depth of character and faith of his wife and family.
It's about being able to go hiking and camping and to Disneyland. It's about developing a deeper relationship with a kind and loving Father in Heaven.
It's about burdens of grief and guilt, but also about the lift of unspeakable hope and joy.
In short, it's about finding a new life.
"There have been so many emotions," Paul Cardall says of the 16-month journey since he received a heart transplant.
As a musician and composer, it is natural that he expresses those emotions through music, which he has done in a new CD, "New Life" (Shadow Mountain Music).
But he also found that it didn't come easy. In all the time he spent in the hospital, Cardall only wrote one song. He would go out to the piano in the lobby in Primary Children's Medical Center every night, but he would find himself playing the same song over and over, a song he called "New Life."
"For me" he says, "music, opens a conduit to heaven and provides my soul with strength and peace. That's what 'New Life' did for me."
After the transplant came through and recovery was assured, there was a benefit "Celebration of Life" concert to put together, and then a book, "Before My Heart Stops Beating" to finish up. There were hikes to go on and activities to plan of things that had not been possible before. There were trips around the country to speak at hospitals and to young patients suffering from congenital heart disease, the nation's number one birth defect.
But there was little new music.
"I would sit at the piano, but I would feel like I wasn't ready. I couldn't write anything new."