Introduction by Michael’s mom, Shelley:
By Michael J. Bowen, Jr.
December 7th, 1986 – December 9th, 2009
I am a mortal human being. I have no special powers to live forever. From the moment we take our first breath cells begin to die. I have a rare disorder called Barth syndrome. I refuse to let the term life-threatening define me. Life itself is life-threatening.
The greatest of all fears is the fear of death. The irony is death happens to everyone. Life will always come to an end. People often fret over how they will die or what malady will happen to them. Sometimes things happen to us that are out of our control. We can fear these things or we can be courageous about them.
Some people are afraid of snakes even though they have never encountered a snake. Some are afraid of bugs or other silly things like that. When I was old enough to realize death—the worst thing that could happen to anyone is going to happen to everyone—I chose not to waste my life by living in fear but moreover to be fearless. Fear paralyzes where courage sets us free.
I will not waste my time living in fear. I will live my life to the fullest. I will not consider what will come of me because I am not any different than any other mortal human being. I will come and I will go, that much has been defined for me. I have been fortunate enough to draw a first breath that defined the start of my life and I know my last breath will define the end my life. I choose to make the breaths between my first and last the living years. It is not my choice about when the first and last breath occur but it is up to me to define how I live my life with every breath between. Therefore I refuse to allow fear to define how I live my life.