Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reflections

I sit here and it is the last day that I live as a fifty-six year old man. Tomorrow I begin my journey on my fifty-seventh year of life. What have I accomplished in 56 years? What have I learned in 56 years?

If you allow me, I would like to take a minute of your time to share some of my life’s lessons. I have learned that there is nothing more important than faith and love. Faith in my God and the love for the life he has given me. I have learned that the important thing is not the material things you accumulate (because they can be gone in an instant) in life, but what are important is the people you get to share your life with and that you meet along the way.

If I remember in my High School Year book, my goal in life was to be rich and I spent a good part of my early time of my life trying to be rich . My problem was I did not know what the meaning of rich was then.

Like so many, I thought “Rich” meant how much money you had and where you ranked in the “Fortune 500”. You know they call money a “Liquid Asset” for a good reason because like a liquid, it can flow in any direction very easily. There was a time when I did not have money and I thought I was “Poor”. I was so wrong. What I did not realize then was with each day I was getting richer and richer.

There was a point that I wooed my life’s mate and married my sweet wife, since then it has been as if my “Dow Jones” has been doubling each day. Some of the priceless “Dividends” has to be my son and now his son and soon to be new baby.

Over these years, I have been able to bank some very important relationships. I have friends of over 40 years and through these years have come across some amazing people who I have become friendly with. I have a cousin who is more like a sister to me and our relationship is very valuable to me. My dad’s sister and her family have been supportive of me through some very difficult times. I love my Aunt Eva and Uncle Steve and pray for their health each day.

Then there are my “In-Laws”, boy do in-laws get a bad rap as far as I am concerned. My wife’s family has adopted me and been by my side through thick and thin. My late father in law was one of my best friends and I miss him dearly. My mother in law is a Saint and I enjoy everyday talking with her and sharing life with her. She is and has been so good to me. My sister-in-laws are great. They have been like sisters to me and to my son! My brother in law was the first to offer me blood when I needed it and for this, I can never forget him. My wife’s Uncle’s and late Aunts ….beautiful people, no other way to describe them and her cousins unique are my cousins too, a true dedicated family, all there for each other. Therefore, what value do I put on that? You can not!

Then as a parent you worry and hope that, your child finds the right mate too. You hope that they are as happy in their relationship as you are in yours. My son brings home a truly wonderful wife, a marvelous mother and a great daughter (in law). Together I know that they will be as happy as my wife and I are …a forever kind of love.

Blessed family, good friends what else is there? Well there is more.

I have been a man who has lived in fear of his life for over 40 years. Since I was 16, I have felt that I was going to die (mostly because professionals have told me so). Long-life was not in my future. I spent many a day living (and eating) as if it was the last day on earth. Seriously, I use to go to bed with five or six ham and cheese sandwiches thinking if I was going to die, I ought to die with a full stomach (is that not the reasoning of someone with a disease?).

Thirty-five years ago tonight I swore I was going to go to bed and not wake up on my Twenty-First Birthday because I was sworn to that I would never live to my 21st Birthday if I didn’t lose weight.

I sit here now and I will begin my 56th year tomorrow. Am I sounding like “ha-ha” I beat all the odds? Oh no, forgive me if I sound that way. I am a grateful human being. I am thankful to many people; and on the top of that list are my wife and son, my special doctors and her colleagues, Richard, my friends and my family. Two other special thanks. One is to me because with all the help and all the support I have gotten, no one goes through the battle daily, minute by minute but me and little pat on my back is well deserved once in awhile. Then on top of the list is God, I am so thankful to God for giving me this time. Can I say to God, “God bless you” God because I am so grateful.

Therefore, I get this time to reflect on the important things in life. Yes, numbers were always a big thing in my life. How much money I had, how much did I weigh, how much did I lose or gain? Now numbers are not so important. Lifestyle is more important. I cannot take numbers with me to the next world.

My health is important, the quality of my life is important and the people in my life are important.
Thank you Mommy and Dad for the life you have given me and even though you may not be here with me on this earth, you live so strongly in my heart and mind.

What have I accomplished? I have been a loving husband and father and grandpa and one grateful human being! I have accomplished a lot! I have lived my High School Dream , I am a rich man, a very rich man!!

Therefore, my friends on my Birthday I give to you this gift of “reflections” and ask you too to reflect on exactly what is important to you. What are the things you can do today that will be with you tomorrow and not just for a passing moment?

Have a great day tomorrow and for many tomorrows to come…
Happy day to you
Love
Mike

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michael
Thank you for this posting on reflections and you have me looking at my life.
Happy Birthday
Helen T

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mike
I am very glad that I have come to this blog. Reflections has me thinking deeply about my life.
Hope you had a great day!
Coleen G

Anonymous said...

Michael
I have to agree with you although I do not practice what you preach but I am trying
Tom B

SueW said...

Mike, I hope you had a happy birthday. Thank you for this beautiful blog - it was very insightful and touching.

Anonymous said...

Mike
I too want to wish you a Happy Birthday and thank you for this great blog. You have touched so many and one very hard hearted person, my twenty-eight year old son who saw your story and then I show him your blog and since December he has lost 39 pounds with about 100 more to go. God bless you
Maria Jenkins

Avery Ray Colter said...

With a body they called morbid, you willed yourself to die. But your body knew better. Life and death never can be determined by any single number.

Fellow Taurean, we may not share all the same views, but let us both celebrate surviving another year. To more adventures.

Anonymous said...

Dear Micheal
This is a place I want to be. I enjoy this blog, what you have to say and what others write also. You are a leader for so many of us.
Judy L

Kathy said...

We all want to feel like our life has meaning. Besides all the personal triumphs you've had, you have helped countless other people all over the world because of your perseverence and strength. And yes you do need to remind yourself of your accomplishments. It is you that fights this battle each and every day, minute by minute, winning one little victory after another. I'm just a few years behind you. You are a wonderful example of a person who has learned what is truly important in life. Wishing you many, many blessed years to come.

Anonymous said...

Mike...

First off i hope you had a great day for your birthday at the museum with your family and it was great to speak to you that day ....(remembers many of your birthdays )
Reflection wow what a topic for me right now .. as i struggle through alot of emotions right now finding out mom has cancer and maybe 6 months to live and each day finding out more and more of how and where it has spread to .. reflection has become so important to me...remembering the days and life how it was ..where i have come from .. who i am now..i know i have grown so much in the past years...but now i want to turn back time and give mom more time even though i cant...
Im sorry im not making this to be a down blog because one thing i have done and after talking to you the other day is not using this as an excuse to not take care of me .. i have to be strong and be well enough to handle all that comes my way...so each day i will get up and remember i need to do this for me and for mom ....
Hugggss and much love mike
Carol

Anonymous said...

Mike
You are a person who someone can learn from. What you have gone through has been a true miracle and Has helped me do so much. Thank you
Rita E.

Anonymous said...

What a warm and friendly place. You guys are like a family and we owe it to Mike for setting it up. Carol you are in my thoughts and Kathy love what you have to say.
I agree with Rita and Mike keep up the great work and keep blogging
Edward Peterson

Kathy said...

This place feels like home to me also. I don't know what I would do without it. Carol, I want to tell you that I lost my beloved father to cancer and know what you're going through. Going through the dying process with someone you love is, of course, excruciating difficult, but you will learn so much about yourself. It is really an honor. Life is so precious and so short. It can bring home the fact that we all have to seek our destiny. Become a survivor of this disease that you fight as bravely as your mother is fighting hers. I am sure nothing would please her more. You will need to be brave and strong, but you will be because there's not much choice, really. If you don't, you will always wonder, "what if."

Anonymous said...

Thank You Kathy
I am going through the same thing as Carol is and what you told her and what Mike is writing is helping me to at least eathealthy through this horrible time.
Thanks family
Vera Newman

Anonymous said...

Kathy and Ed and Vera thank you for your kind words they mean alot .. and i am taking care of me cause i have to .. and vera we are all here for you also ...this is a home this blog space .. to me its family.. family dont need to be blood ...

huggs to you all

Anonymous said...

What a powerful place. I love coming here and I wish more people knew about it. You people are great. Mike you inspire nice people to find a home base and just share and be there for each other. I am glad I googled Mike Hebranko today.
Olivia P Vermont

Cheryl said...

A belated happy birthday to you Mike - you are inspirational and may you have many more.

Love,
Cheryl

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I am inspired by you and your story for years and now this web site. I intend to return as often as possible. I hope to hear from you and your plight and that of others. I am an obese person just barely hanging on and I need help.
Thanks
Lind F

Anonymous said...

Michael
Saw You on Oprah then TLC which show came first? Either way you are a true inspoiration. I weight over 500 pounds and becasue of you I refuse to give up. I told my kids if Mike can do it so can I. Thank you and God bless you
Wanda W

Anonymous said...

Michael
Happy Memorial Day to all. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and certainly our men and women of the armed forces are heroes. But then there are regular citizens like Michael who fight personal battles and then share it with all of the world to try and help. Mike you help me.
Tyler

Anonymous said...

I have now been coming to this blog page for a while and each time I come here I leave feeling better. Michael you have set up a community of great people and you yourself are un-real
Thank you
Kevin

Anonymous said...

Does everyone who comes here have to be overweight? I find Mike to be a great guy and I am not overweight. I think his giving so much of himself helps me in other parts of my life. I also get so much from this web site.
I hope I am welcomed
Patrick K

Kathy said...

Of course you are welcome Patrick. It is great to see someone who does not battle the same problem that we do who can appreciate the love and inspiration here that comes from Mike, his life and example. I'm sure a lot of us wish the people in our lives who do not share in our struggle were as compassionate and understanding as you obviously are.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I enjoy this blog, I wished you would blog more often. I come here every day and read what you write and then read them comments. Let's keep this blog going.
Great
Tonya

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Patrick K
You are welcomed, Your friends are welcomed,Your family and the whole world is welcomed. We as part of the human race all need each other. We all have some kind of problem and a little friendly support, understanding, hand holding, never hurts. At the same time I personally hope to be able to get the general public to understand that a person who struggles with weight issues are human beings who can use a little understanding and help and not ridicule, judgement and being made fun at. Oh Patrick let me get off my soap box!
Patrick welcome to our family and we truly are glad to have you here. Come again, come often and share with us. You and your feelings are very important to me and my friends.
Have a great day!
Respectfully your friend
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Friends
Thank you all who have wished me a Happy Birthday!
It has become a sort of tradition over the last three years that me, my wife, Son, his wife, and my grandson do something on my birthday. Last year it was the Aquarium, the year before the zoo and this year we went to the Children's Museum. What else could I want in life. The prior four years to that I was in a hospital or rehab. All things are possible, you just have to keep believing.
Now We are waiting for our new baby, due any day now!
Oh God, life is beautiful!
Have a wonderful day and thanks once again
Love you all
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

To Avery Ray Colter said...
Have a great day
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Coleen
I hope you always think about you ... you are pretty special and never forget that!
Keep in touch with us
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Tom
Hope you are paying some attention to you today and all days. It sometiems takes practice because many of us have put others so often before our needs. Then we tend to have no energy to take care of us. Tom, you are important too!
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Sue W
Thank you for your kind thoughts and I hope you are having a good day.
Remember to do a little something nice for you, today.
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Maria Jenkins
God bless you and your son. I am praying for him. Feel free to give him my email address (michaelhebranko@yahoo.com) and I would love to give him a little word of encouragement and if he needs someone to talk with who has traveled and is still on the same road as he is.
Maria love him as you do, be patient, he needs someone to understand him and not necessarily make him wrong. If he has a bed moment (or day) he knows it!
Keep in touch Maria
Send him my regards
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Kathy my friend Kathy
Thanks for all you do. I love your support you give to me and all our friends. You are a special person. I hope you are having a great day and do me a favor....Can you give my friend Kathy a hug today, from me!
Smile my dear friend
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Carol
You know it but I am going to say it publicly. My personal prayers and love are with you through this rough time. My family is praying for you and our blog friends I am sure are all thinking of you. You know Carol if you needthe to talk, you know where I am.
As a friend I say this to you. During this rough period, don't let taking care of Carol become a back burner task. You are still important you must take care of yourself. You have a lot of life ahead of you and need to have the best quality life possible.
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Judy L
You are welcome to come here as often as you want. It is our pleasure to have you part of our blog family.

Have a wonderful loving day
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Vera
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.
This is not a easy time for you but as you know you still have to take care of yourself (and eat healthy). Eating healthy (and this is not easy) is something we have to do no matter what!
Life will always have plenty of reasons for us (and sometimes real good ones)not to eat healthy or take care of ourself. Sometimes all we need is the dumbest reason to go off course. Not that what you are going through is dumb in any way.
Vera, Please just hang in there, don't give up on yourself (as I am sure you are not).
Be well and good luck
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Edward
I hope you will be a regular part of our community. Good luck to you and have a healthy day
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Olivia
Welcome to our home! Take off your shoes and stay a while!
Olivia we are glad you enjoyed our blog site and seriously open our hearts and arms to you.
Have a great day
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Linda
You come here as often as you need to. Linda please get the help you need. You are important and you need to do whatever you need to do. If it is medical (most of the time we need medical help along with other help) go search for the medical help. Don't be discouraged, don't give up. I have searched high and low for the proper help. I have had medical, physical, mental and spiritual help. This is not and easy war we battle and we need all the ammunition out there!
Linda keep in touch and never stop fighting, YOU ARE A WINNER!
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi my dear friend Wanda
The Oprah show was a month ago and the TLC show was about three years ago.
What you told your children is right, You must refuse not to give up!! You only fail when you give up!
Wanda you can, you will make it. Just love yourself, be patient with yourself and love yourself. Most of all remember to forgive yourself if you need to. You probably forgive everyone else, be that kind to yourself too.
Wanda, keep in touch and I believe in you!
Keep 'em smiling and you'll keep 'em guessing.
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Tyler and Kevin
Thank you both for your very kind words. I love the people that I have met on my blog. I feel that it a small little way we all help each other ....and why not? We are all part of one family. Like in any family, we may not all see eye to eye but bottom line we are family!
Have a great day guys
Love
Mike

Anonymous said...

Mike
I think it is great that you respond to so many comments but I notice you sign often to both women and men, love Mike. Do you love everyone?

Anonymous said...

Michael were you in Levittown Today. I think I saw you in Church?

C said...

Hi, Mike,

Thanks for the update. So glad you could keep up the birthday tradition and go to the Children's Museum.

I love it that you realize "what else could you want" for your birthday.

Can't wait to hear baby news.

Love,
Beth

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I think This is a great blog and thank you for responding to our comments
You are a blessing

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael
Just wanted to tell you that I feel so welcomed at this blog. I started coming here since I saw you on the Oprah Show in April. It is only one month but you have inspired me to not give up and I have lsot 18 pounds. I read your past blog post and they have helped me. God bless you Mike
Dee Gwen

Kathy said...

Wow! Congratulations Dee Gwen. I know you feel better having almost 20 pounds less on your body. Just wanted to give you a round of applause since I know how hard it is.

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Dee
Welcome
to our family and keep up the great work!!
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

To my two Anonymous friends
Yes it was me at church out in Long Island on Sunday.

And to the person who asked me if I love everyone? ......
Well the truth is the opposite of Love is Hate. I do not Hate anyone! So yes, I guess I love everyone.
Love
Mike

Anonymous said...

Странно, искал совсем не это, гугл выдал Ваш сайт, и судя по всему не зря, есть что почитать! Goodwork!