I have come so close to death that it has taken me quite some time to finally shake the eerie feeling of her cold bony grip, tightly wrapped around my soul. As you know by now, I have been through pain, torture, and sheer misery on the deepest of physical and emotional levels. I’ve been tested in ways most could never imagine. I have been to hell several times, and have come back stronger with every trip. The devil no longer laughs in my face, but rather I laugh in his! Every single day is a challenge for me. Sometimes when I look back on the events of my life, it’s hard to believe that I’m the one who lived it. Nearly crippled by my anxiety, there were countless times I didn’t know how I would survive. I didn’t know how I would even manage to continue on. Yet here I stand (or sit rather)! I will never give the devil that satisfaction. The obstacles that I have faced have relentlessly put me through the ringer, challenging my spirit in every way imaginable. I was countlessly forced to re-evaluate the meaning of my life and everything in it. From it all, I’ve managed to take away two very valuable and important lessons: Perspective & Appreciation!

You see, so many of us have a habit of living our lives on autopilot. We do the same things day in and day out—time slowly passing us by. We stop living and are merely existing, Most of us aren’t even aware of when it happens, until it’s too late. We get caught up in our routine and other various distractions. We go through our daily regime taking so many people and things for granted. We get complacent and comfortable. The majority of our time is spent worrying, complaining, and our focus is on all the wrong things. We cancel plans without hesitation because decidedly, “there’s always a next time.” Until suddenly, life is forced to remind you of what’s important, only to never hear that person’s voice again. In an instant, everything gets turned upside down. I speak from experience as I kept putting off plans with a friend, only to lose her weeks later in a devastating jet ski accident. I neglected another friend’s calls all day thinking, “I’ll just get back to them,” only to hear they passed in the middle of the night. This isn’t a joke. It’s life!

The world as we once knew it has drastically changed without warning, and we weren’t at all prepared. Take this recent pandemic as an example, most never saw it coming, and those who did, weren’t prepared for the extent of just how bad things would get. Now we walk around in fear, going too long without seeing the people we care about. If only we realized just how good things were before they changed forever. I would give anything right now for one more family gathering at my brother’s house, the kids riding around on my lap in my wheelchair. “Time waits for no one.” Another reminder is that your parents won’t live forever. Suddenly the moment comes when you would do anything for that “annoying” phone call from your mom reminding you to eat, dress warm, or do things you’ve already done. Time is fleeting…the sand in our hourglass being very deceptive, falling at a much faster rate than appears. Those moments we take for granted and put off will soon be gone forever, never to return again. If only we could learn to seize those opportunities when we have the chance, we would be so much better off!

Me and my nephew!

Sadly enough, it’s the terminally ill cancer patient who is quicker to cross items off his/her bucket list, as opposed to the seemingly healthy person who could very well drop dead from a heart attack, or get hit by a car at any given moment. Instead of fulfilling their dreams, they live in state of constant monotony. I’m not trying to be morbid, that’s not the point. On the contrary, I’m simply trying to knock some sense into people, and reinforce the idea that time is guaranteed to NO ONE. We should ALL be taking full advantage! And yet, so many of us wake up failing to seize and make the most of every day, or every breath for that matter. I am no exception. I’ll never forget the first morning I woke up after my tracheotomy. It was a huge reality check for me that even in what appears to be the most dreadful of circumstances, it can always be worse! In a matter of hours, I had gone from wishing to breathe the fresh outdoor air to yearning for any air that wasn’t being artificially produced by a machine through a tube in my throat. I still remember what it feels to walk. I remember the feeling of my feet on the ground holding the weight of my body, allowing me the freedom to come and go as I please. I miss driving, I miss being able to bend down and pick things up, I miss washing my face in a sink, or simply standing and letting water run down over my head in the shower. I miss being strong enough to raise my arms and give my loved ones a hug. Trust me when I say, barely walking is better than not walking.


The grass is always greener, until you realize it was just nice to have a yard to begin with. Thankfully, I now embrace the fact that out of my limitations was born the desire to take hold of my life and turn it into a legacy that I can be proud of. The acknowledgment of my blessings allows me to live my life to the fullest, and to LIVE FOR MYSELF! No more hiding. No more caring what others think. The more self aware I become, the less and less I feel tangled up in the imposed social constraints of society. At the end of the day my opinion of myself is what truly matters. I am happy with who I am. I now appreciate that my story is so unique in nature. I view being different as being memorable.

I cannot stress enough just how important it is to live your life, before the last grain of sand falls in your hourglass. Travel! See the world. There are so many cultures and places to explore. Living in a bubble is so boring! Don’t hold grudges. Holding hate in your heart is so unhealthy. The worst thing you can do is go to bed mad. Learn to forgive others, if not for them, then for your own peace of mind. Listen to people. You can learn a lot. Put your own ego aside, and be open to accepting new ideations. You never know when someone has something valuable or deep that they may want to share. Don’t be stubborn, you’re not always going to be right. You’d be very surprised how much you can grow from the right conversation.

If you feel like saying, “I love you” SAY IT! Be spontaneous, spoil your loved ones for no reason. You don’t have to wait for birthdays and holidays to do that. If you see something they’d like, why wait to let them know they are special?! Once again that is merely another societal constraint. Spoil yourself too. Self care is vital. You deserve to be pampered and taken care of, especially by yourself. No one should be rich in the cemetery. Unfortunately, none of that money can go with you!

Build on genuine relationships, and don’t be afraid to let go of the ones dragging you down. Energy vampires are real, and will suck the life out of you! Everyone in your life serves a purpose, but some friendships are seasonal. It’s okay to move on from things that no longer benefit you or contribute to your overall well-being. Your most important relationship should be the one with yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company. You should never be dependent on anyone for your happiness. It’s ok to be selfish from time to time. You should be the most important person to you! If you yourself are not ok, you will hardly be in a position to help anyone else you care about.

Live wisely, not in fear! Try new things, even if you hate it afterwards. At least then you’ll know for sure. The phrase “what if” shouldn’t exist in your vocabulary. Regret is one of life’s many curses. If it’s something positive, make it happen. If it’s something negative, then it’s not even worth putting that energy into the universe. Project positive thoughts and affirmations. Having a rough start to your day? The worst thing you can do is decide that’s how the rest of the day will play out. We manifest our own reality. Reach out to your relatives, and not just the older ones. The tendency is to put more energy into the people in life that “appear” to have expiration date when the truth is we ALL do. So embrace the existence of anyone who is meaningful to you. Nurture ALL your close relationships.

“Grow from the things you go through”

Don’t live in your past but rather learn from it. Worrying about things that have passed and beyond your control will only drive you crazy, Set goals for yourself. Take steps towards fulfilling those goals. Like i said in my previous entry, things worth having take work! Take extra long showers. Don’t be afraid to cry in movies (it means you have empathy). Watch the sunset! Walk in the rain! LISTEN TO MUSIC! TAKE PICTURES! SMILE! PUT AWAY YOUR PHONE (me)!

Don’t find yourself on autopilot for too long because the years will pass you by quicker than you realize. You’re fifteen one day, and fifty the next. And again, it takes work. It takes support, and encouragement. We are all forever works in progress. There is so much you can do in order to better yourself. And although you will never achieve total perfection, at the very least, YOU should be the one finding reasons to laugh everyday…not the devil!

1 Man, 3 Hearts, and STILL ALIVE!

About 1 Man, 3 Hearts

After collapsing in my NJ home one night at the age of six, due to heart failure, doctors were convinced that I would not live to see my seventh birthday. Three decades later, I have defied all the odds that were placed against me. I will be turning thirty-seven this summer. Upon discovery that I was in complete heart failure (age 6), I was rushed to the NIH research hospital in Maryland. At this time, I had an emergency dual chamber pacemaker implanted. Since then I have survived two heart transplants, a kidney transplant, gall bladder removal, lung collapse, pain medication drug overdose, and a tracheotomy. Unfortunately my transplanted kidney failed two years ago placing me back on dialysis three times per week. At the age of twenty-seven, I was diagnosed with a rare muscular disease known as Myofibrillar Myopathy. This disease progressively attacks the various muscle groups of a person’s body over time. In my case, it was discovered that this disease was also responsible for initially attacking my heart muscle at age 6. In the last two years, I have lost usage of about eighty percent of my bodily function to my illness. I am currently wheelchair bound, sleep with a ventilator every single night, and require the assistance of a full time (24/7) personal aide who resides with me. My life is full of challenges, it’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve had my share of dark moments. However, I refuse to allow this to keep me from enjoying life and living everyday to the fullest. I have gained a great deal of perspective and learned many valuable lessons over the course of my life. My goal is to be able to give back and share my story in a way that can help others who may be facing difficult circumstances and encourage them to keep fighting. I also believe it is important to raise awareness for rare diseases as well as the importance of organ donation. I have chronicled my life in a book, “1 Man, 3 Hearts, 9 Lives,” available for purchase on Amazon. I truly appreciate all your support, thank you! 💙
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3 Responses to Hourglass!

  1. Jennifer Lafontant says:

    Chris my son . It seems like as the weeks fly by your blogs become better ! One of my sayings is ‘ Whatever you did yesterday , today you can do it better’ That in essence describes your writing. You pour out your experiences , your trials , your faith your fight , and today you have profoundly wrapped them for your readers to untie
    I endorse all that you shared. The devil lives , negative energy is out there . Fear and destructive forces exist in our midst . Tomorrow is not promised to no one . We should not be complacent or wreck less but we should embrace this precious gift of LIFE . Live , laugh ,love ,forgive for OUR benefit . Continue your fight Chris . I love you so much ! ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Dee says:

    Oooh my!! This is an outstanding wake up call! Chile, (🙋🏽‍♀️Yeah, I’m from the South) I’ve been in an off and on funk that’s been extremely hard. After reading this I now know it’s because I need to make some difficult decisions that I have been putting off for quite awhile. Just thinking about making these decisions make me want to put them off that much more which makes absolutely no sense. I realize the cloud will continue hanging over my head until I make some firm decisions; otherwise, the thought of what I need to do will keep presenting itself. Thank you for letting me know it’s time to put in the work, make some hard decisions, and let the chips fall where they may. Like you said, tomorrow is not promised and I still have work to do🙏🏽💕

  3. Ricardo Medrano says:

    Thank you Chris for this! With so much going on in this world and personally, you have found a way to keep my eyes open.

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