By Gary P Jackson
Today we remember Andrew Breitbart. Many have offered their own recollections of Andrew, and the incredible work he did advancing Liberty and Freedom. Unlike many, I never had the pleasure of meeting Andrew, but he had a profound effect on my life in many ways. He actually saved my life.
What I remember, and celebrate about Breitbart is the fact he was a happy warrior. The man would fight hard, but he was never mean spirited. No one ever enjoyed walking into the middle of “enemy territory” and taking people on more than he did. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Everything about the guy I remember seemed larger than life. He was just such a force of nature. An inspiration to countless bloggers, like myself, who just love doing what we do. I remember Breitbart once saying he would sit up all night arguing with some annonymous cat on Twitter who had virtually no followers and little history. That was Andrew in a nutshell, to me. A fighter, and a king mixer! Someone who enjoyed a good argument for argument’s sake. I can relate to that, as I too love a good argument too.
What I also remember was that great smile he always had, a smile that would grow when he was doing something especially naughty, like the time he crashed Anthony Weiner’s press conference!
Andrew Breitbart was passionate about life. He was passionate about America and all of the wonderful opportunities she offers. His passion, and drive were infectious too. One couldn’t help but be inspired to join in the fight with Andrew Breitbart leading the way!
Talking about Breitbart in the past tense just never seems right. It seems impossible that he is gone. He was on earth such a short time, but accomplished so much. The legacy he left will never fade. Those he inspired will continue with what he started. Out of one man’s vision thousands, if not millions, have come forth.
I’m no good at this, as there simply aren’t words good enough to express the impact Andrew Breitbart had on the world in general, and myself in particular. I think he inspired all of us to be better at what we do. I think he inspired all of us to take the fight to the corrupt media and politicians just a little bit harder. I think he showed us that anyone can make a difference. I know he inspired me.
It saddens me to say this, but Andrew’s death actually saved my life.
You see, I am a lot like Breitbart was, in that I rarely sleep, and constantly burn the candles at both ends. Have been doing that since I was a teenager. Throw in some weight gain and rotten eating habits, and well ….
A couple of years ago I got on a walking kick that I am still doing to this day. I power walk daily, and have lost a considerable amount of excess weight. It was two days after Andrew’s death that I was on one of my walks. Now I have several medical issues, including a form of arthritis called gout. When it flares up, it hits all of my joints and muscles, especially in my chest and around my heart. The pain and symptoms mimic a heart attack. Having had one, I still can]t tell the difference. I have been having these gout attacks off and one for a couple of decades though.
So here I am, walking when I got massive chest pains. Thinking it was just another gout attack coming on, I just pushed on. I’m in pain, sweating, and my arm feels like it’s going to explode. As I walked further, I started thinking about Andrew and how he left us. It made me stop immediately and consider these pains I was feeling might be something more than arthritis. It was then I stopped and dialed 911.
As luck would have it I was less than a half mile from the hospital.
Turns out I was having a major heart attack. The artery was 95% blocked. I have since been told they called the one that was blocked “the widowmaker” because a lot of folks don’t make it.
Had it not been for the memory of Andrew, and how such a vibrant, alive, essential man had left us, I might not be here today. I feel like he was sorta watching over me, telling me not to ignore the pains.
We learned soon after his death that Andrew was having serious health problems, and had been hospitalized not long before his death. I can’t help but wonder if he was pushing himself far past the limits. I wonder if he ignored the warnings. I just feel blessed that, somehow, in my moment of need, Andrew’s spirit touched me and got me thinking right.
I’m still having issues, and was just in the hospital battling chest pains that turned out to be nothing but residual gout that hadn’t been treated properly since the last long hospital stay. But since my heart attack last year I have become more aware. I have learned to take a break now and then. To eat better, exercise more, and so on. I’ve also learned to listen to certain warning signals, and take appropriate action.
Though I celebrate Andrew Breitbart for all of the inspiration he gave me and untold numbers of others, for all of the battles he fought and won, and for simply being Breitbart …. I feel a more significant connection, and will always remember that in his own way, Andrew Breitbart saved my life.
People like Andrew Breitbart are treasures. Unfortunately they don’t get to be with us forever. Andrew’s work though, his inspiration, his legacy, will live on forever and we must remember to always celebrate that. Andrew Breitbart is one of those people who made the world a better, more interesting place to be. We are both a little less, now that he is gone, and yet more enriched for his having been here.