I started my second semester of grad school classes last night and we were assigned a partner who we had to interview and then give a brief introduction of to the class. My interviewer randomly asked if I had any near-death experiences.
Would not have thought to ask that and it made me think - what would constitute one? I mean, maybe we cheat death every day and don't realize it. When I got dizzy, fell over, and started being dragged out to the ocean by the current when I was a child before my dad saved me - was that "near death"? Or when my safety bar briefly broke when I was inside a carnival ride before my best friend flung her arm over it to keep me safe while we went upside down - was that "near death"?
Did I "almost die" of embarrassment when the guy who had just broken up with me accidentally ended up on a first date (group date) with me and another guy? (the answer to that is Yes and I'll tell that story some other day.) Or when I fell out into a class 4 rapid white-water rafting, or was nearly left on the side of the road at two years old after my mom and I were in a car accident?
I ended up telling her that my appendix burst when I was 10 and I suppose I nearly died then. I didn't tell her the whole story, of how we thought it was food poisoning from the carnival and waited a while to go to the ER while toxins were being dispelled around my organs, or how the doctors accidentally cut a main artery during surgery and I nearly bled to death. Or how I then got infection and had to have yet another surgery two weeks later. I basically just shrugged and left it as "I guess I could've died then..."
And while she was giving my introduction, she stuck that random piece of information in at a really awkward place in the speech which actually made everyone laugh, then feel bad that they laughed...making me laugh even harder. And when I finally returned to my seat, the person next to me offered an "I'm glad you didn't die".
Ha! Yeah. You know what? Me too.
I may start saying that to my friends regularly now. Because really, you just never know when they last cheated death.