Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

PostHeaderIcon It can be lonely out here…

It has been a long, long while….. tardis distance, galaxy far far away, you get the picture. It’s been a long time to be silent. I’m sorry. It’s not like this blog has a rabid fan base, but I started a story, and every village story teller must finish the story. Why I stopped is hard to explain. My reasons changed the further I got away from it. My heart changed the longer I let it beat. But the story has not changed, and the truth (As I know it) must be told.

I am trying to do my experience justice. I have struggled since post #3. I wanted to write and continue on, but I just didn’t have the heart. I hurt to remember, to know what I learned, to know what I lost, to see what I gained. I thank God for my chance he gave me. Yet at times I hate him for the choices he put in front of me. I want this to be written, but like the petulant child, I don’t want to do the writing. I don’t want to do the homework. I find it very hard to connect my experience with people. My ego says that people cannot understand, cannot care enough for it to be worth my while. And like an ego it needs to be deflated.

I was worried that after writing it all out none of it would matter. No one would remember me for this. No one would remember this for me. I feel the pain of Nephi who struggled as he finished his record. I find it fitting to paraphrase him and hope none think ill of me for doing so. Book of Mormon, 2nd Nephi, Chapter 33

“And now I cannot write all the things which I learned; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

But behold, there are many who will cast these things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.

But I have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.”

I came across the testimony of a man who did not search for god until after he had his own personal peace. He only then searched for god because realized he was not yet truly at peace. His Searching took him to many churches, many faiths, many religions. And when he found the peace he studied it, he partook of it, he spread it to others. He testified of his appreciation for receiving the “Peace which passeth all understanding” . Having felt that peace in my experience, I realized that in my arrogance, I thought that no one would understand. In my pain, I thought I could not give it to others. In my humility, I will continue to try.

Leighton Ford — “God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way”

Kevin Steele

PostHeaderIcon 4. What I remember during the first time I was OUT.

I remember.

I remember the room.

A room of such simpleness that it neither drew the attention of the eye, nor a desire to study it further. It was so plain as to be both unknowingly large and small. Yet that does not mean it was void of beauty. And by beauty I don’t speak of garishness, nor sparkling fountains, or wondrous visages. It was beauty… That which is of deep peace, and not just skin deep. And not of starkness and cool edges but… simplicity. Things WERE. There was nothing about this place which held fear or concern, confusion or consternation. I was in a place older than time. It left the feeling of having been there more than eon’s, just more. Longer than human history, longer than elder Daemons or forbidden gods, longer than time.

I rember that there was a set of doors in the wall, or at least connected to the floor. I say that only because I don’t remember the walls, but there must (no, might) have been since I was in a room. There were benches, simply ordained with people sitting upon them. An there were others, with me. Not Dante’sque puppets acting upon the marionette strings of eternal justice. Just people who WERE. Like me they were there and they didn’t know me or I them. And the fact that there were passing strangers was of NO importance to me.

If a tree falls in a forest, does it even matter whether or not it makes a sound?

I sat and I….. Well, I just sat there. Stump on a log, stone in the henge, tree in the forest. I just sat and let time ebb and flow around me. It was with this passage of time that I became aware of my feelings. I was at peace. I was not granted all knowledge and all reason. I am as stupid, more or less than before going to the hospital. I simply felt loved. I knew my life was imperfect, blurred, marred and stained by the choices of every day. But I knew I was loved. I could feel the love of my father. I could feel the compassion and care of some one who was always watching, always existing, ever present. He knew me through and through. Yet with all that, he loved me as if I was just brought into existence. I felt the existence of so many things. The stars in the heavens, the void, the all that is all. I understand that I am a speck of a side, of the corner, of the mote of dust in the existence that is the universe. But even more, I understood the how inimitable I was. I lived the words of Abraham when he was shown the whole of heaven, so much that he could not comprehend it all. I feel the hope and pain of the fictional character, Eleanor Arroway when she says:

“I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever… A vision… of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone! I wish… I… could share that… I wish, that everyone, if only for one… moment, could feel… that awe, and humility, and hope. But… That continues to be my wish.

How rare and precious I felt. I knew I could have done better in my life, but I knew I was loved just the same. How this impacted me from that point on was a matter left up to the person who was watching over me. While there was a tepid sense of loss to what could be gained from a better life lived, I was not wanting more than what I had lived up to. I knew where ever I was, that I was Loved. I found peace spoken of in Phillipian’s that passeth ALL understanding.

Having that peace I stood up and was walking around, enjoying the love I felt and continuing to think about my life. It was at this time that I felt a light touch on my shoulder. I had been approached from behind and a women stood there. She simply told me “Tell my mother that I love her”. I knew her name was Tracee, and I knew her mother Carol who lived across the street from my parents house. I don’t remember saying yes, or responding to her. I don’t remember how much longer I was in that place I just know that some time after that, I woke up after my first surgery.

And now the punch line…. or was that punch in the gut.

I woke up without peace, I was in pain and disoriented. The Peace that passeth all understanding had passed. Attached to a bed, cut open, peoples concern was evident. It felt panic incarnate. AS everything fell out of place and then back in, Kaylene was there to comfort me, my parents were looking over me, I was being watched and cared for. It was not until that day had died down and night had come that I remembered what had happened to me and what I needed to do. In the morning I struggled to let my mom know what was happening and have her send Tracee’s message to her mother. From there it was off to more surgery.

PostHeaderIcon 2. Before the first surgery

I get the feeling this post is going to be very short.  Truth be told I don’t remember much about the before and after of my first surgery.  Please understand I’m sharing this from my year old memory of a set of moments that came and went in a pain and medicine induced haze.  ALSO- If I get some of this wrong, let me know with a and I’ll approve it and then make an Editorial change with all of them.

Rush’n Attack:

From what I’ve told, Nathan got us to Timpanogos Regional Hospital in record time.  I can only imagine him using the speed and care of a professional Rally Car driver.  He’s crazy good like that.  😉  I on the other hand was in the back seat ready to go to sleep with Kaylene in the front passenger seat keeping me awake and out of shock.  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t sleepy, it was the shock.   Either way i think we got there in record time.  Thanks Nate!

Sorry, George Clooney already finished his shift:

When we got to the ER they got me inside, not sure if I walked in or what?!? I know the nurses could see I was in bad shape and they rushed me back into the ER.  They tried to get my blood pressure 3 times with no success.  Kaylene tells me they pumped me full of IV fluids, and then turned me upside down!  My blood pressure at that point was 55/22.  This is below any sustainable level.  When blood pressure is too low, the first organ to malfunction is usually the brain.  Needless to say I scared some people.


One morning, Kevin wakes up to find his dog dead, lying next to his bed. He can’t quite believe it, so decides to take him to the vet. The Vet takes one look at the dog and says, “Kevin, I’m truly sorry, but your dog is dead.”
“No. He can’t be dead. I demand a second opinion!” replies Kevin.
The doctor nods and agrees. He goes into the back room and brings out a cat. The cat jumps all over the dog, bites it, looks at the vet and says, “Meow.”
The vet again says, “I’m sorry but your dog is truly dead.”
Kevin says, “No!, I don’t believe it, I want another opinion.”
The vet nods and brings out a Labrador Retriever, which then begins to jump all over the dead dog, tugging at it before barking, “Woof roof woof!”
The vet says, “Sir, your dog is dead. That will be 400 dollars.”
” to tell me my dog is dead?” asks Kevin.
“Well,” the vet replies, “I charge 50 dollars, the cat scan is 200 and the lab test is 150 dollars…”
Back to reality… kinda:
I had received a CAT scan a few weeks before this incident when I was experiencing my previous pains.  With the horrible blood pressure reading of 55/22, they rushed me in and performed another one.  The Radiologist looked over the CAT scan films and told my wife that they weren’t sure what was wrong since My cat scans were showing ok.  She left and came back, maybe 15 minutes later, ready to rush me into surgery.  This fine doctor had made a human error and was looking at my CAT scan results from the previous scan two weeks before.  I was bleeding internally.  My bowel (Large intestine) had ruptured and was spilling into my body cavity.  I was in Septic shock and my Liver and Kidneys were also failing.  All around I was a huge mess.
Some of what I can tell you here is what I remember, some is what i’ve been told, and some is what I think I remember telling people.  Out of all this I can only truly remember the following things.
  1. Stumbling to the car
  2. Me wanting to lie down in the back, and my wife kept talking to me to keep me awake.
  3. 4 seconds of walking from the waiting room through the doors into the ER.
  4. Wheeling to the CAT scan
  5. The Doctor telling us that my Kidneys and Liver were failing. ( This stands out most)

And there is part 2.

PostHeaderIcon Where should I start?

Hey Folks,
I’ve had a rough couple of days trying to remember, all that happened, that I could remember.  There is so much that I know is there and I cannot write it all at once, but I cannot decide where to start.  Some would say start at the beginning, and while my list is chronological, I’m writing for myself, but also for the people who were there along side me the whole time.  Please, please , please leave a comment and let me know which (Up to 3) posts you think you would enjoy the most.  Please keep it at a 3 maximum.  Knowing what people might want to hear makes it easier to start.
  1. Events leading up to the ER
  2. Waking up after the first surgery
  3. Brief Explanation – Who’s Tracee?
  4. What I remember during the first time I was OUT.
  5. Waking up a 2nd time
  6. TRIPPING OUT!!! – Coming off of Propofol
  7. Getting through ICU
  8. Friends and Family
  9. Leaving the ICU
  10. Going home – Kinda
  11. Recovery – Physical
  12. Recovery – Mental
  13. How Insignificant and Precious
  14. What I remember the 2nd time on “Holiday”
  15. My sweetheart.
Thanks Everyone….

PostHeaderIcon Songs that remind me of this last year – Post Surgery

From Sonata No.2 in A Minor, for Violin Solo – Bach

This is my favorite piece of music, EVER. and the fact that it is Classical, much less Bach, is pretty amazing (I’m not so much a classical fan, though I am a HUGE Piano Fan). This song always calms me and I can listen to it on repeat for hours on end. It is one place where I can find peace and inner harmony. This was how I felt during my moments in the “After time”.

Vanilla Twilight – Owl City

I had time to dream during my medical coma, and the thing I will always remember about that time is that the only one I wanted to be with was my love, Kaylene. I remember us being different places such as Heber Valley Railroad, Blackfoot Idaho, Oregon, and other areas that are peaceful areas in my past. She is the only one I wanted to be with; She still is. This life and the after wouldn’t be the same without her.

“I’ll watch the night turn light-blue
But it’s not the same without you
Because it takes two to whisper quietly
The silence isn’t so bad
‘Til I look at my hands and feel sad
‘Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly”

Waiting for My Real life to begin – Colin Hay

This was me waking up and spending my first nights in the ICU – Nothing to do but lay there, and feel helpless and needing more. More humanity, more purpose. I still feel more broken than normal. I know that Kaylene has heard me say before “I feel SO old”. Some people laugh when I say that seeing as how I’m only 31 now. I can understand the humor in my statement, but for a long time I’ve felt the parts in my machinery that creak and rub me raw. Like my skin fits too tightly and my mind doesn’t know what to do with itself. I’m waiting to feel the magic of youth, and that my opportunity hasn’t left me behind. It’s a hard thing to hope, when your physical, spiritual, and emotional joints are squeaky, rusty, and coming unhinged. I love this song cause it is a reminder of believing the fantastical, and that I still have to go out and do some work to make my dreams happen.

“When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I’m walking in my old footsteps, once again”

Fire and Rain – James Taylor

Kaylene will tell you that I LOVE to sing. I’m not that good, especially when I can’t belt it out, and even then…. This was the first song I felt I could try singing after everything happened. As well as being a James Taylor fan, I felt the pain of losing that important unameable part of me, and the triumph of being able to squeak the words out gave me such hope. The song still makes me cry if I try to sing it. This song is also for the people who “showed up” for me, for Kaylene, for our family. Thank you. Thanks to Jared and Shaleen for keeping Kaylene sane. Thanks to LANDesk and my friends there for their kind words, support, and love. Thank you to FAMILY! Thanks to all my friends and Kaylene’s friends who gave us their thoughts and prayers.

“Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend”

Something in the Way She moves – James Taylor

This is to My sweetheart who stuck right next to me, even when life was crashing around us. I know it was hard for you too, and I was so happy to have you there when I woke up. We’re coming up on 10 years!! I love you. For myself, I’m sorry that I cannot be everything I want to be for you.

“Every now and then the things I lean on lose their meaning
And I find myself careening
Into places where I should not let me go.
She has the power to go where no one else can find me
And to silently remind me
Of the happiness and the good times that I know”

Breathe – Aalok Mehta

This song personifies my need to become real again after my recovery and starting back into real life and work. Aalok Mehta is one of my favorite musicians. The song reminds me of how hard it is remember to be alive and realize the beauty of those around you. To be able to breath a sigh of relief, a breath of normalcy. I think of how many times that I felt I was drowning and the people who pulled me up and helped me on my way again.

“The life you bring into my domain
It leaves me with a smile of anticipation
I don’t know if the courage inside can radiate
Without the changes that seasons dream
And I keep on record all of my fears
However transient life can be your dancin’ babe it bleeds into me”

PostHeaderIcon Preface –

I’ll keep it simple.  I’ll try to explain more in the other post’s i’ll be putting up.

Preface: On October 16th, 2009, I ended up in the emergency room after three days of continual nausea, diarrhea, and pain.  My large intestine had ruptured a few days before and I was suffering from internal poisoning and sepsis.  During my first operation my heart stopped and I lost responsiveness.

In simple terms, I died.  There are a lot of ways to put it but that seems simplest.  I just wanted to share my experience with you, what I learned, and my thoughts on why I still don’t have any good answers for all those BIG questions….

You may see some earlier posts referring to an “After Time”  When I lost consciousness and before they put me on Propofol, I ended up in a place that is a tough to explain.  It was a place of peace, and contentedness.  I experienced things there that have expanded my understanding of Myself, my family, and to a slight scale, my place in the universe.  I’ll talk more on that later, please just understand that my “after time” has changed me indelibly.

I’ll be adding more posts after this stepping through everything and  I’ll give more detail in additional posts.  Thanks to all who stayed next to me and Kaylene during these hard times, both near us and in our hearts and prayers.


Kevin Steele

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Rabindranath Tagore


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