So I read today in the news that Manuel Uribe, formerly the worlds heaviest man, has died at age 48.
And that got me to thinking
Because we want to be known for things in life
We want to be remembered
For kindness perhaps
For some talent
For making a difference
But for being heavy?
For being the worlds heaviest man or woman?
When I googled images of Manuel
Mostly unflattering pictures came up
Pictures of him confined to the bed
Without clothing but instead covered by a bed sheet
Presumably because there were no clothes that fit
And I thought to myself that this probably isn’t how he would want to be remembered either
For the mere shock of his size
So I’d like to share with you how I will remember Manuel Uribe
Because I see him in a different light
I see him as a hero
For years, Manuel lived in a prison of his own body
He was depressed beyond what most people could even imagine
His wife left him and he contemplated suicide
But Manuel found hope
And he chose to believe that he could find a way out
That he could do more than just give up
He began to search for answers
He began to fight
And he lost over 500 pounds
“It’s a miracle I’ve got this far,” Manuel admitted to Reuters. “I was going to kill myself two years ago when my wife left me, but God sent me excellent doctors.”
Manuel also said that he found hope in God
And that he wanted to use the difficulties he had been through in the fight against obesity
To tell people about the hope that God had given Him so others would know of His Love
Manuel knew he was in a battle for his life
And instead of giving up
He fought hard like a warrior
Manuel inspired me and he inspired many others
Because he never gave up
He never quit
He fought right up until the end
I don’t know what the cause of death is for Manuel
But I do know that he was taken by a crane to the hospital earlier in the month for an abnormal heartbeat
I am going to assume that he most likely died due to the complications of obesity
So what does that mean?
Does that mean he lost the war?
Is that what it means??
Because in the end, obesity claimed him?
Well NO….not to me
Not at all
Manuel fought the good fight
That’s what he did
The odds were stacked against him
But he fought anyway
And he won MANY battles along the way
He wanted to kill himself…but he didn’t
He overcame that
He thought he could never lose a pound
But he lost over 500
He even inspired a ton of people all over the world!
Life isn’t perfect
It doesn’t always turn out the way we hope
Wouldn’t it be great if we could say Manuel had lost all his weight and won the war?
Wouldn’t that just be the fairytale?
But we need to look at the big picture
We need to wake up and see the whole canvas as it really appears
We are told to run the good race
And to never give up
That’s what he did
No one can ever say he QUIT
Because he didn’t
In war, many heroes will fall
That’s what makes this war REAL
For some it might be about looking good in a pair of pants
But for many
IT’S LIFE OR DEATH
And that’s the battle I’m fighting
So to me—He is a hero
A warrior fallen in the battlefield
Who fought the good fight to the bitter end
Let’s remember Manuel for the choices he made
And the inspiration he gave to many
Not for being the world’s heaviest man
But for being a man who believed in hope
Who stepped out in faith
And who, having fought the good fight here on earth
Now gets to live free from the chains that once bound him
No more sadness, no more tears
So what shall we take from the life he lived??
Well how about this….
Our days are not guaranteed
Our life on earth is not going to last forever
So while we are here….let’s give it our best shot!!
Let’s choose hope over defeat
Let’s choose to fight and not quit
Then let’s go for it with everything we have
Until the day we are called home
Thank you Manuel for the inspiration and the hope
You are a true hero
And today you live free!