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Published:May 22nd, 2007 08:44 EST
Dying to Learn How to Live-Twice

Dying to Learn How to Live-Twice

By Carolee Kaufold

 I died on August 8 th-- twice!    In 1994, I was in a coma until August 22nd. When I woke up, I knew God had big plans for me. Now, thirteen years later, I can see how He worked in my life. I want to celebrate that day with you. Now my hair is thinner than my waistline. I have more white than blonde in my hair.  My knees go out more than I do. I do not see wrinkles, I see laugh lines. Once my house was messy, now I’ve turned into a Stepford Wife (only when it comes to cleaning).  I have more patience now than before.  My heart beats harder now, with the love I have found. My family got bigger... two daughters in law, and five grandsons.  I look at myself and see someone that has been blessed over and over.
Why? I guess it is because I am a different person. I’m quicker to say a kind word than to say something that is rude.  I have learned to value myself, I was number seven  before.  I was the last one to eat, go to bed or fix up my home. Now I am closer to the top of the list. I have four sons in four different cities, two in different states. I miss them, but realized I had to let them start living their adult lives.  They have made my husband and I proud beyond our wildest dreams.
 I have been privileged to be able to stay at home and enjoy the  palm trees, soap operas, and Reality TV. A phone call, an e-mail, and regular mail brings me news from friends and family.  I get post cards from friends that do the traveling I used to do. 
Every now and then, we get our grandsons, Matthew six and Timothy four. Tim’s twin, Nathaniel, has gotten a rough start on life, since they were born on April 22, 2003. They were born six weeks premature.  Tim was able to come home after a few weeks, but Nate was not so lucky.  In his fourteen short months he was only home one week in total.  He has many things  wrong and a lot right with him.  Each day we see new miracles all around him.  He is now in a place called Heaven and he is doing so well.  We have one more set of twins, Hunter and Jacob two years old.  They live in Maryland and we just saw them three weeks ago.
 I have kissed them more, hugged them a lot, and am amazed at  how smart and funny they are.  Thom has retired, so we plan things around them. Soon there will be carousels, swings, and slides in our future.  I look younger, Thom looks prouder since our grandsons starting showing up in our hearts.   We live a simple life, we believe we are following God’s plan. We don’t go out to eat; Thom is a better cook than any restaurant.  We don’t go to the movies, because there are Disney fireworks in the back yard.   
Thom still sees me as a twenty-two year old bride and I see him as my shiny white knight in armor.  Days will go by and we live each one to the fullest.  Each day  is my favorite one, because of when Thom is home.  He still works two days a week at Disney as a Monorail Driver.
 I have met new friends and found old ones on the Internet.  I have seen kindness and charity abound.  I have a husband who gets to drive his own railroad set, knowing the grandsons will love saying: “My gramps drives the monorail”.  I have sons that are at the top of their game.  I have daughters- in-law that love my sons as much as I love their dad. I have sugarplums for grandchildren. 
 Terrible things happened on September 11th 2001. Now we look at each and every joy and sorrow differently. We are proud to hang our American Flag, Thom is proud he was been able to serve his country. I loved all the jobs I’ve had and they  brought me to a richer experience.  I know that a home is not defined by lot number or address, but by the lives that live there.  I look forward to seeing things though our young grandson’s eyes. I can’t wait for them to say “I love you Grammie!”. There will be others that will touch our lives in the days to come.  We’ll welcome them to home made pizza, a comfortable chair, and a place they feel safe in.   I have not been writing for a while, too busy with the  experience of  having grandchildren. I have had time to sit on my back deck and smell orange trees.  I look at old albums and think “Was I ever that skinny?” To remember our wedding day and think, “how is it possible that I love Thom more?".   
 I was re-born, fourteen years ago.  Now I can clearly see all the joys that have been laid in my heart.