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I won this “brown” turkey fig at my neighborhood garden club meeting with my lucky 13, my guinea pig rank in an experimental heart angioplasty procedure in 1996 that keep my heart working until last year’s heart attack.

When I asked the first cardiac resident in 1996 what number I was in the guinea pig order, he said “12”. An hour later I asked a second resident checking my vitals who said “14”. I told him & his buddy they were cowards because I realized I must be #13! Then I asked, “how many are alive?” He answered, “you are!”

I quit asking silly questions, started thanking God for every day I’m alive and began pondering the reality of why any of us are given a 2nd chance:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound… Philippians 1:21-26