Thursday, November 15, 2012

One More Day

A Reflection on Life

On Monday, November 12th, my wife Stacey suddenly collapsed while doing very gentle exercise. She stopped breathing for about 30 seconds, her eyeballs rolled back, and she was motionless. I touched her gently a few times on her face, but there was no response. Suddenly, she gasped two times and came to, and then sat up. She was just that close to losing her “lifeline”.

Fortunately, I was there holding her hands (she doesn’t like mini trampolines) so she didn’t hit her head, and our son Michael Karioki helped lift her to the nearby bed, as Sarah dialed 911

We just don’t know. We all expect and hope to live a long life, but that is not always the case. I was talking to my precious yobo, and then in about 90 seconds, she was almost gone. The ambulance was cancelled, but after calling Stacey’s doctor, he told us to take her to the emergency room, which we did, at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She was checked, and they decided to admit her to the hospital, due to a very low heart rate of only 40 beats per second (it usually should be 60 to 80 beats per second). The heart also had fibrillation, or irregular beating. I stayed with her until 10 p.m., and then she was taken upstairs to the cardiac intensive care unit. There was another serious time in the morning, when the heart stopped, and they did CPR and gave one shock. Then she was taken for electro physiology testing, and a pacemaker was installed. She was discharged today, Wednesday, after just two days. Her doctor, who performed the procedure to install the pacemaker, was Dr. Edward Platia. He was a very kind, understanding, reassuring and competent person.

It turns out that the heart is otherwise healthy, but had a complete blockage, in which it stopped. It started back by itself when we were at home the first day, but if it had not….

I am feeling overwhelmed with the love of God and my own love combined for my better half, or as they affectionately say in Korean, yobo. I am glad to have her here. I wish to be more supportive, more kind, more helpful, and more appreciative of each moment. I am glad to have One More Day to:

Say a kind word,

One More Day to:
Love someone,

One More Day to:
Share love in my family,

One More Day to:
Make a difference in this world.

Who is to say when the “lifeline” that God has given each of us will be “recalled”. God has given each of us a very special time here on earth as His objects. We are to completely fulfill love in our families, with our spouse and children. Just as God cannot be complete without on object, which is the God-centered love expressed in a family, we cannot be complete either without a family, including at least one child, through which we can share God’s love

The experience of my better half almost leaving the earth has increased my appreciation for her, and for life. I have a newfound appreciation for seeing the sun, having a wife and a daughter and a son. God incredibly loves each of us, just as I felt the love welling up for her in me. Who is to say how many more days each of us will live? Whether it is one day, one year, 10 years, 50 years or some other period, I will strive to live each day with newfound appreciation and love, being grateful to have One More Day. As long as I am alive there is One More Day to return appreciation to God and to make God happy by loving someone, and to give Heavenly Father a place to dwell by having a Blessed family. I am very grateful that I was able to be home with Stacey when she passed out, that I could take her to a hospital where they have a specialized heart care unit, and that we received the care of the best heart doctor, Dr. Platia. Reverend Sun Myung Moon says in his autobiography, As a Peace Loving Global Citizen (p 234): (

Human beings have always struggled to understand who we are and

why we must live. We must realize that, just as we were not born of our own

accord, so also we are not meant to live our lives for our own sakes.

So the answer to the question of how we should live our lives is simple.

We were born of love, so we must live by traveling the path of love. Our

lives were created by receiving the boundless love of our parents, so we

must live our entire lives repaying that love. In the course of our lives,

this is the only value we can choose on our own. The success or failure

of our lives depends on how much love we are able to pack into those

eighty years that are given to us.

Youths Choose Abstinence as the Path to Success

Over 20 community leaders attended the Crossroads; A New Direction for Our Youth private breakfast and reception at the Washington Times on Wednesday, November 7. The program, sponsored by Urban Life Training & Reality Assessment Teen Choice, addressed the issue of helping youth choose the path to success by raising youth leaders to develop good character and to model and teach about the benefits of sexual abstinence in preparation for marriage and successful family formation.

Co-founder Richard Urban explained that if he were in high school today, he would very likely be making wrong choices and getting sexually involved. He asked the audience if they were in high school today, would they be making right choices?

Mr. Urban challenged those present to consider two paths. One path will cause heartbreak, sexually transmitted disease and about a 50 50 chance of being caught up in baby mama and baby daddy drama. The other path will leave their lives unencumbered with heartache, disease, and baby mama and baby daddy drama. Even more importantly, it will help their children to prosper. Mr. Urban explained that if teenagers don’t graduate from high school and have a baby before marrying, there’s a 79% chance their child will live in poverty. This compares to only an 8 % chance of their children living in poverty for those who finished high school, had a child after marrying, and did not marry as a teenager. The District of Columbia Public Schools emphasize STD testing for 9th grader students, but parents are not notified of the results, and abstinence is not emphasized.

PowerPoint slides created by Urban Life Training alumnus and Penn State Harrisburg Junior Tierra Glymph were shared. Tierra explains how we need to support and empower young people to make right choices and not just push safe sex.

Eastern Senior High School Urban Life Training Alumnus Sharnetta Tyler shared” This program really allowed me to grow in = [character] so by the time I got to college I was ok to say no, that’s not me. … So I remember being that confident when I was your age saying this is going to be life for me, so transitioning over into college Like I held on to that same virtue. Like there was never something [else]that caught my attention, nothing else said well maybe I want to be a mom before I’m a wife, nothing, that was the same goal I have now; I am still holding on to that.”

Urban Life Training STAR Guide Alumnus and Howard University graduate Erica Smith shared: “Being abstinent has helped me stay focused on my goals, kept me safe from sexually transmitted diseases, prevented unwanted pregnancy and saved my from the heartache and humiliation that could have come from having sex with men who did not have my best interest in mind…I implore you all to join this mission because truly abstinence is the best choice for those who are not married.”

Breakfast participant and youth worker Ebony Brown shared “I really enjoyed myself at the breakfast this morning. It was truly inspirational and such an eye-opener! Never have I personally thought about teaching teens about abstinence and the benefits of it. Your organization's purpose is awesome!