I Chose the Light

“I promise I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss my best friend’s graduation for anything,” I solemnly swore to my best friend on that Friday morning, just twenty minutes before I was to walk into a “routine MRI” that would forever change my life. Who could ever guess that inside such a seemingly perfectly healthy teenager’s brain was a ticking time bomb waiting for an unknown cue to explode and ignite a year-long war of recovery?
The grim MRI technician locked the cage around my head, and it began. From that moment, I was sealed into a fate I never imagined, a full-speed rollercoaster, complete with gravity-defying drops, inversions, and multiple corkscrews. I heard a voice from above ask, “Are you ready?” as my arms were being crossed as if I were being laid to rest. His question made me open my eyes, and I was surprised at what I was staring at. The way he was gliding around me, preparing my immobilized body, gave me two options as to how I could view him. He would either be the angel of dark or light; my perspective of the situation could change everything. I chose the light.
As I was slowly slid into the tight testing space, my sides sliding against the inside of the tube sent me in reverse to a place that until that day, I was so accustomed to. I could nearly feel the dirt grinding under my cleats, the rough leather ball rotating off of my fingers for what I knew would be the perfect pitch; a feeling I would never feel again after that day. Every additional minute I was kept enclosed in the rumbling machine, I could feel the sides enclosing around me, the war song of the machine seeming to sing an encrypted code holding my fate. After three dreadful hours had passed, I cracked the code. Right there, my life was changed forever.
The rest of the afternoon was a blur. When I was finally relieved of my position in the large machine, the imminent events had me lying in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit of the state’s best medical center. To say I felt like I was on my death bed would be no stretch of the truth, as the patient situated next to me was in a comatose state. This sparked the reaction in me that truly changed my life. I glanced at the clock, realizing it was shortly after seven o’clock. My best friend was probably walking across the stage receiving his diploma. At that moment, I decided that though I was missing his graduation, I would not miss my own in two years. I would be the survivor. On the road to recovery, I would come to realize that perseverance is the bravest quality a person can choose to have. I have learned to not blame circumstances for who I am. I have learned to survive. I have chosen the light.