A Unique Life

One spermatozoon hits an egg, and at that instant, life is created. Millions of probabilities and combinations carried by the sperm disappear to give birth to just one creature, a unique one among billions of other creatures in the world. It’s a miracle that will never be repeated again. And that unique creature is you. And when you came into this world it was a gift, something you did not decide or even asked. How amazing it is!

But then you grow up and you want the power to build your life, to make it great, successful or even the power to mess it up and destroy it, because, in the end, it’s your life and you are entitled to make of it what you want. You can even decide to give up living when you feel desperate and think there is nothing else that could hold you back on this earth. In this case, one bullet would be enough to turn off your life, and it would be up to you because you cannot decide to be born but you can decide to die.

One spermatozoon is life, one bullet is death! But there must be another way to give up living without dying. And here comes another desire, a request yelled to the universe when everything is lost and nothing seems can save you anymore.  And the answer comes: you can leave your life and be reborn in another one because life is a miracle and it will always give you millions of other possibilities to fade the dark, search for happiness, get surprised, and find love.

And that’s what happened to Rich, when he decided to be reborn.

Sharing Lives

Rich and I were in Big Bear (San Bernardino, USA) having the best brunch ever, on a sunny Sunday morning, while Ron was at home to keep company to Jazz, the sweetest dog ever. Rich was sitting in front of me, his eyes as blue as the ocean, and the atmosphere all around so pleasant that I was feeling happy and relaxed.

Los Angeles 2011

I met Rich and Ron in Italy. Rome, Viterbo, Orvieto, Civita di Bagnoregio, Siena and then Los Angeles, Big Bear, everywhere we loved to talk about our lives to get to know each other a little bit more. I felt a connection with them from the first moment and I always was fascinated by Rich’s stories about Hollywood and the American movie industry. Rich, a talented Set Decorator,  who worked for the biggest Hollywood productions, enchanting me with his tellings about the mountains of dollars the cinema spends to shoot a single scene. Like that scene in January in Napa Valley, where thousands of dollars were spent to produce just a few seconds of film! The script foresaw a scene in September but it was January when Rich had to decorate a little vineyard corner to create the harvest season. Like nature, he dressed the bare branches with thousands of green leaves and beautiful bunches of grapes. And the illusory scenario he created was even better than the real thing!

A Touching Confession

But this time, sitting at a table in a diner in Big Bear, I had the feeling we were about to talk about something different from the ordinary stuff we were used to, because Rich’s glance became deeper and his blue eyes were becoming wet, reminding me, even more, of the infinite ocean.

“Giulia, you know, one day I found myself on the edge of my life. I had two choices, die or be reborn, and I chose to be reborn”.

I remained petrified by his confession and unable to say a word while he kept speaking. “I was drug-addicted, for many years.  So addicted to reach that stage when you are desperate and miserable and all you need is more drug to survive, to detach for a while from your shaking body and your pained soul. One day I had  8  grams of cocaine right in front of me and a gun nearby. I could have used one bullet to get rid of my life, just one bullet to drag into the dark all my desperation, my sorrow, and solitude. Just one shot to fall into the eternal dark and disappear forever. But, suddenly it was instead a flash of light to hold me back. Maybe someone from above came to me because I can still hear that voice: ‘Hey Rich, just kill yourself or get on with your life!’. Maybe, it was my first partner who had died one year before from AIDS. I have the feeling that he came like an angel to wake me up and give me the sudden strength to get up and take all the cocaine to the bathroom and flush it.  And so desperation, solitude, sorrow, I threw them all down in the toilet! I died at that very moment to be reborn again in my new life. I have never picked up any drug again. Never and ever!”.

A New Life

When you are born for the second time, you learn the lesson. You become wiser. You know how to react when circumstances tend again to knock you down. Like that evening when Rich invited for dinner a guy he was dating. He didn’t show up and didn’t even call. So Rich threw the dinner he had cooked for him in the trash and went out. What a pain, what a sorrow but behind any bad situation, there is always another chance. The greatest lessons life teaches us often come from sorrow, failures, disillusions, and disappointments and when you learn to master them you become even grateful that you met them.

And so it was that Rich that very night didn’t give that circumstance a chance to bring him down, and went out to a bar. There he met Ron for the first time. It was a Friday night, they talked for hours and made a date for Sunday night. They went to see Groundhog Day and the day after moved into the same home to live together. In a few months, they bought the beautiful house in Big Bear. That was 27 years ago.

Big Bear 2011

What if Rich hadn’t decided to be reborn that day? The best part of his life would have never manifested. And what if he hadn’t decided to go out that night?  So much love and joy would have been lost.

Life is a matter of choices and Rich made the choice to give himself other chances. Life is a miracle and if you choose to live or be reborn, it will always reward you with millions of other possibilities to fade the dark, search for happiness, get surprised, and find love.  And love, in the end, is the answer to many of the questions of our life. The love of a partner is the treasure that we are always searching for. Any person whom we fall in love with during our life can be a little treasure or a simple gold nugget. But only luckier ones can find a mine of gold, and that’s the case of Rich and Ron. They are lovers, friends, and brothers. They are a couple, a family, two bodies and one soul.

It was 2011 when Rich told me his story, and since then I’ve been always thinking of it so I asked him for permission to tell it. He answered me: “You are welcome to share my story, hoping it will help others”. This is a huge act of generosity and in the deepest spirit of Human Connections.  Thanks to Rich for sharing the experience of his life and for teaching us that if we ever find ourselves on the edge of our life, it’s the right time to choose to be reborn. Many other possibilities will be ready to manifest in the path of our existence. Because our life is unique and it’s a miracle!

We are born by chance but we can be reborn by choice. Never give up, and live your life every day as a gift!

Thank you Rich.
Thank you Rich for these beautiful words you shared on Facebook- You touched my heart.
Lots of Love! Giulia

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  1. Just read Rich’s story! Very touching and inspirational. The timing is perfect for me as I closed my office to patients today and am not sure what the future holds. As is the case with countless others. Thank you Giulia! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION AS WELL and my life has been enriched because you are in it! Lots of love Baci baci

    1. Debra, thank you for reading Rich’s story and for your beautiful comment. Yes, we are living a very tough moment all around the world, and many of us are uncertain about the future, particularly in terms of work and income. But I learned that behind a problem there is always an opportunity. And this opportunity will manifest showing us new paths, that now we cannot even imagine, because life is amazing! Stay positive, stay safe!

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