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Borrowed Time

By: Dotty

Today is the day I celebrate my birth. Not my first, but my second. You see I died a few years ago. I was physically drowned, murdered and quite dead. Someone I was trying to help, not realizing that helping her would lead to my physically dying, killed me. Later, I was academically dead by an act of suicide.

People say a miracle brought me back after Alex. I know. The name of this miracle is Jim Ellison and the path of the miracle was through his soul.

We've never really talked about those days, talking over and around them. That used to bother me until I realized we didnít need to. Anything that needed to be said was said through the action of one man giving up part of his life for mine.

So much had happened in the days leading up to my death. Cases, the University, the dissertation intro, Gabe, Warren Chapel, Veronica... Alex Barnes. We were both spiraling down so fast we didn't have time to catch our breath and realize what was happening. When we did, most thought the damage was irreparable. I've been told I've been too forgiving. My mother, Megan, and others feel I should have shown more anger, never forgiven, stayed away and gone on with my life. It was too late for that. My life was no longer just my own. After the fountain, I knew that in my heart. It took the fiasco with the dissertation to know it in my mind and imprint that fact on my own soul.

After Sierra Verde, there was a lot of healing to do. Breaches made had to be healed, mistakes made had to be forgiven, a relationship wrecked had to be restored. It was easier than most people thought. Two people took stock of themselves, evaluated themselves, and then forgave themselves. Once one forgives oneself, forgiving others is easy. Lessons were learned and lessons taught.

My academic rebirth was not as successful as my physical one. Instead of resurrection, the people who truly cared and loved me reincarnated me. Granted, it was a reincarnation I never expected, but one Iíve finally come to realize I was admirably suited for and already adapted to. I had come home to a place Iíd hadnít known was home. My welcome was warm and accepting, something Iíd never had before. I belonged.

So today I celebrate the day of my birth. My birth was labored in pain, heartache and death. I started my new life with loss and gain. My lungs will never completely heal. My eyesight is worse and I have a chronic cough. I've come to believe winter exists to remind me of my physical trauma and pain. But then, comes the spring a time of rebirth, growth, and warmth. My growing pains are scarred with sorrow, healed with wonder, and tempered with knowledge.

I am not a melancholy person. Sorrow helps us come to terms with the things in life that could destroy us if allowed. I will not be destroyed by what was, and my sorrow may help me cope with what will be.

I am a student of mankind, a shaman, a guide, and a detective. I went from being an observer of life to plunging in over my head experiencing it. It was frightening, exciting, a whirlwind of ups and downs and all arounds. But, you see I forgot something. All life knowledge comes with a price. I'm not speaking of algebra, geography, or history. I'm referring to the knowledge of spirit, of the soul that we learn. Some lessons are learned quietly, while others are born on the wings of life, death and sacrifice. I'd forgotten a sacrifice is always and has always been required to change a soul. Throughout human history, death spiritually or physically has been required, demanded and given. So it was in my case. Life for life.

How much of James Ellison's life was lost to him to save mine? How many minutes, hours, days, or even years did he willingly give up to restore me? How much weaker did he become of every plane of his existence to continue mine? Does he realize? Does he understand what he did? How much sooner will he cease to be because of what he willingly gave up? I don't know. I'm not sure there is an answer. These are the questions that I hope in time, my sorrow, tempered with knowledge will help me cope with.

I live each day with these questions. I am awed, honored, fearful, humbled, terrified, and joyous. To know that someone, a friend, a brother, part of your soul, was willing and did do for you what Jim did for me was almost shattering. I was lucky. There were so many hands to help hold the pieces together till the glue held firm. It was a long difficult road to restoration, but I never walked alone. There was always a strong shoulder, large hand, and calm blue eyes to steady me when I felt overwhelmed. I wouldn't have survived this knowledge otherwise.

So today, I celebrate my birth. There will be no party, no presents, and no acknowledgement. I prefer this. I will do only one thing for myself today. No one will see, no one will know. I will renew a promise; an oath made those few years ago after I realized what had been gained and what had been lost. I will live each day as if it were the last day of my life. I will be a better friend, person, cop, and Guide. I will do all I can to live up to this trust that has been given to me as long as it's allowed. For you see, my life is not only my own. It was given so freely and willingly, but it's still after all, borrowed time

The End