Why the Heart Matters

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The heart is one of our most fragile and vital organs. Without it, we are unable to pump blood throughout our bodies reaching other necessary organs.

The heart is divided into four main chambers: the two upper chambers are called the left atrium and the right atrium (plural atria) and the two lower chambers are called the right and the left ventricle. There is a thick wall of muscle separating the right side and the left side of the heart called the septum. Normally with each heartbeat, the right ventricle pumps the same amount of blood into the lungs that the left ventricle pumps out into the body. Physicians commonly refer to the right atrium and right ventricle together as the right heart and to the left atrium and left ventricle as the left heart.

Both my right and left heart was upset last month when I lost my oldest nephew to a heart attack on New Year’s Eve. We had no warning, no sign of discomfort and no high or low points to prepare ourselves for what happened.

My nephew, Michael Brian Woods, Jr. was still a young man in his prime. He had a long life ahead of him, we thought. He was a self-employed businessman and he worked hard making his life a dream come true.

When we give ourselves to our education, our jobs, our families, our friends, we often don’t take the time to re-energize, to rest our minds and rebuild our heart’s strengths. We need to because our hearts matter.

Heart disease runs in my family, it has taken my father, grandmothers and grandfather. It almost took one of my sisters too, “Sunny,” Michael’s mother.

Last month we lost actor James Avery, AKA “Uncle Phil” among his many acting roles, of the Will Smith television show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Mr. Avery was undergoing heart surgery at the time of his death and left us one day after my nephew’s departure.

Take some time to recognize your heartbeats and that of our loved ones. Why not call them and let them know you love them? You never know when they can be taken away from you. Don’t wait to send them flowers when they are gone, because they can’t smell them or see them then.

Life is full of many things that make us want to greet it with anger, but remember to think about the rainbows when you are shouting at the rain. It should remind us to rekindle love again after experiencing the pain. Our hearts matter.

RIP Jo-Jo, AKA, Michael B. Woods. Jr. you are forever in our hearts.


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Tags: Entertainment Alley, heart, loss

Taylor Kelsaw

Taylor Kelsaw started his career in San Francisco, Calif. more than 30 years ago and has since worked on many highly rated television shows including “Oprah” and “Live with Regis and Kelly.” He loves to paint, sing, act and being the proud parent of three lovely children.