Nancy Micklin helped save my life. We were in the early months of a relationship during a hot New York City summer in 1984 when I was held-up at gunpoint on my way to work and shot in the head at point blank range. The bullet remains lodged in my brain.
The NYPD’s 84th Precinct got to the scene with amazing speed and I was rushed to the hospital in the backseat of a police car.
In the emergency room I asked a nurse to call Nancy. I will never, despite my best efforts, be able to describe the exhilarating rush of hope I felt when Nancy reached my side. She would leave my side from time to time, ostensibly to take a break, get some water or some air. Actually, she was taking a break so she could break down and cry. ER staff would comfort her and then she would return to my side fully composed. I did not learn the real reason for her breaks until I was well out of danger.
There is a down side to this story that I hope to fix some day. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Nancy was there when I was taken on a gurney to the CT-Scan. She was there before and after brain surgery. She was there every day I was in the hospital. She held me when I was terrified. She was my angel.
When you’ve been shot in the head, suffered significant blood loss and have a bullet lodged in your brain, which is bleeding because of it, willpower is a primary fuel in the fight for life. Nancy Micklin from Northport, Long Island helped whatever willpower I had come to the fore. While I may have lived were she not in my life at the time, I can tell you my chances of living would have been greatly diminished.
Back to the down side.
Years ago the idea of a memoir had taken seed and I called Nancy. She was not happy to hear from me. In fact, she was angry. “You blasted me on national television for ending the relationship,” she said. She was wrong and I told her she was wrong. She did not believe me. She said, “Don’t tell me that, someone told me.” The conversation ended and she is still wrong, but understandably so.
I had appeared on a talk show called “Best Talk in Town.” The subject was secondary victims, a horrible term for those close to the crime victim. I call it a horrible term because there is nothing secondary about their experience. Now my relationship with Nancy ended five weeks or so after I was shot. She ended it and even wrote me a letter shortly thereafter saying she didn’t fully understand why she had ended it. What neither of us understood at the time, through no fault of our own mind you, was violent crime has been known to destroy relationships like fire burns dry kindling.
The program’s host asked, “If two people really loved each other shouldn’t they stay together during hard times?” At this point I had learned a lot more about the impact of violent crime. I said it wasn’t that simple, and it isn’t. I said the victim’s it-can’t-happen-to-me-syndrome is gone forever and the world of those close to the victim is savaged by the experience. I said relationships ending as a result of violent crime is, sadly, very common. The perpetual whirlwind of emotions everyone goes through is, to say the least, grueling to endure.
Now, I am almost done with the memoir. I would like to thank Nancy in person some day. Last I heard she was happily married with children and living in Peeksill, New York. I would love to tell her husband and children what a wonderful person their wife and mother is.
With all my heart I hope she is happy in life. I am happy in my life, a life I might not have were it not for her.