S.O.S. I shouldn’t be alive

Okay I admit it, I love Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and the History Channel and I tend to overdose on these over the weekend. I find them truly fascinating.

A few months back I shared the true story of Aron Ralstad “Between a rock and a hard place” and the movie “127 hours” http://wp.me/p1bB1v-ge. I loved the movie and the book because it spoke of such determination to fight for a life worth living.

Yesterday, I watched “I shouldn’t be alive” on Animal Planet. I love this particular show because it dives into the depths of humankind in the most precarious of situations and yet coming out alive, through all the trauma and death-defying odds they face. Here is a synopsis of the story:

River of Fear
Running through the majestic splendor of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River offers construction contractor David Whittlesey with just the kind of challenge he craves. He embarks on a three-week, 280-mile white-water rafting expedition, opting to tackle some of America’s most gruelling rapids on his own. Just days away from completing his journey David’s raft capsizes, gets stuck and he loses all of his life-saving supplies. As he attempts to scale a cliff face, which is his only way out, he falls and injuries himself. He is trapped, alone and knows that hypothermia could kill him before anyone even knows where he is or that his

David said a couple of things I want to share that really hit me when he said that though he had not eaten for several days and had very little physical strength, the mental battle was much harder than the physical battle. He had to keep his mind sharp and continue to focus on the fact that he was going to make it out of there – somehow, some way. Here is a guy who goes off on a trip that he says he went for “peace and solitude” and winds up almost dying in the grand canyon.

At one point he decides, “maybe I’m not going to get out of here alive” and he lies down and waits to die. (How many times have we thought this in our own situation?). At that moment he hears a helicopter coming to rescue him. His final words were “you can enhance your survival by realizing you are going to survive.”

So how does this relate to us?

In our lives we’re going on with life day after day and all seems fine. Maybe we’re looking forward to having the empty nest and retiring. Then one day something happens and dramatically changes “life as we knew it” and turns our whole world upside-down, or so it seems at that moment. Maybe we find out our loved one has cancer. Maybe we lose someone we love. Maybe we are forced to start the sometimes long journey of caring for our parents. Maybe we lose our job and what we thought to be our security and place of familiar. No matter what it is, it changes how we once lived and viewed the world.

I heard something just recently that said “God doesn’t cause these things to happen, but He does cause all things to work out for our good.” We must not allow these changes in life to cause us to spiral downhill into a state of depression and despair but instead trust that somehow in the end, when we’ve come through and look back – we will see that we did in fact make it through and it somehow changed me and strengthened me. Maybe even if it’s to help someone else that is just now starting out on that journey that you just came through.

The final thing David said was, “he came through that experience a changed man.” He came through appreciating the little things in life, the relationships he had, the gift of life – that he once took for granted.

Lesson Recap:

Somehow you WILL make it through. You WILL make it out alive and you’ll be the better for it.

Here’s my S.O.S. I’m sending out for you: 

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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2 Responses to S.O.S. I shouldn’t be alive

  1. GrandmaOnDeck says:

    Your message brings back memories of the past, As a widow, a past caregiver to parents and retired. I thought- is that all there is? Out of a family of ten only three are living. But my goodness I have a wonderful daughter-she woke me up and gave me a reason to live.So now I am up beat and very much alive. Each day I thank the Lord for being here. I asked to be blessed to do something, little things for others.I started to paint and now I make note cards for my painting and share them for birthdays etc.I hand paint book marks to share with others. I’m on twitter promoting others-it’s what I do. My comfort now is Pslam 23. It keeps me strong.


    • Susan Avello says:

      Thanks Grandma! You are awesome and I enjoy hanging with you online. I appreciate all you do, how you share, how you care. Blessed to have connected. Keep up the good work. 🙂


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