By Raoul Suarez

Two years before the heart attack, he was partying all night. Vices here and there. Chain-smoking an average of two packs a day. Drinking alcohol in excess. Unhealthy eating habits. Erratic sleeping patterns. He was as bad as he wanted to be. He was young and he had money to spend. He had all the time in the world. There was no stopping him.

Two months before the heart attack, he was still at it. The after effects of decades spent on a lifestyle that he considered to be run-and-gun was starting to take a toll on his body. Obesity hit home.  Being overweight was a problem but it wasn’t because it was a health consideration, it’s more about how it was hard to hit on women and take a couple home.  It was hard to walk around. It was hard to fit into the car. It was time to hit the gym and sweat it off. The vices; they were still there. Just minor changes were necessary. The excess body fat needed to go.

Two weeks before the heart attack, he decided that he was going to fix his life. He thought to himself that the vices have to go; maybe not entirely but he might need to cut down on all the smoking and the drinking. He found it hard to do so. The progress was slow. Cutting down to a pack of cigarettes a day from the usual two packs was already an improvement. He tried drinking every other day but it was a little hard to sleep without the alcohol. He has been used to it for quite a while. The drastic change was a bit hard on his body.

Two days before the heart attack, he said he was going to take it easy. There should be no need to assert himself all the time. Talking less and listening more would be the priority. He had come to realize that sometimes his opinion was not the only thing that had weight and bearing. He was ready to agree to disagree and not always beg to differ. It was about time that he picked his battles and stopped going to war for menial things. Diet plans were already drafted. An elaborate exercise routine was in place. Sleeping and waking hours were already set. Working like a dog and partying all night was not going to be part of the daily grind. It was about time he started to live healthy and stopped abusing his body.

Two hours before the heart attack, he said he was going to show more affection and spend quality time with the people that mattered. More chit-chats and hearty exchanges with his aging parents. Kissing his children good night after reading them a bedtime story. The marriage was doomed to fail but at least he still had his children. Weekends will now be well-spent with the family. Work would now be done in the office and not brought home. Strained relationships with friends will be settled and mended. Everything that brought about negativity will be closed off to open a new chapter that came with positive vibes. It was about time he ushered in some quality to his relationships. It was time to stop thinking about fixing his life and to start taking action.

Two minutes before the heart attack, he said he was all set. It will all start tomorrow. Progress will come a little slow but only the first few steps will be difficult. He downed his last bottle of alcohol and smoked his last pack of cigarettes. He popped an anti-allergy tablet to ensure that he can sleep well without tossing and turning. He will not be seeing much of these substances anymore. It was about time he ditched the addictions. It was time for a change. It as too late for that.

Two weeks after the heart attack, he said nothing and just laid quietly in his hospital bed. There was nothing that he can say anyway. Not when his speech was already impaired. The words would not come out. Even lifting a finger was a chore. It can all wait anyway. All the plans he made can wait. The timing was just off. These plans will be put to a halt in the meantime. He should focus more on recovering. It was about time he went to therapy and religiously followed what the doctors recommended.

Two minutes before the next heart attack, he thought that he still had time. He thought that this was just a minor setback and it was going to take a while to put his plans into fruition. Maybe a long while. Maybe not. What he did not realize was that this was going to be it. There was no getting out. His time was over. It has run out. He was wrong to assume that he had the luxury of it. He was wrong to even think for just a moment that he had all the time in the world. Just like most of us do.