On December 22, 2019 I came very close to losing my life. It was by far the closest call I’ve had. I was hospitalized nine times previous and on and off steroids, that is quite the claim. I feel lucky to be alive. A large part of why I’m here today is because of my service dog, Crush. I couldn’t be more grateful to have him in my life. After being discharged from the ICU on December 23, 2019, I’m happy to report I haven’t been hospitalized since!
I can’t explain to you what an incredible accomplishment that feels like. This year has included six surgeries. Including one to get my tonsils removed urgently after that attack. It involved the stress of a pandemic. It involved significant life changes. I got to experience all of these crazy moments that took place in 2020. That is amazing.
I feel incredibly grateful to be here today. I acknowledge that in an alternate universe, I may not have been so lucky. I wanted to honor the significance of this day. It felt like a moment to step back and rejoice. It felt weird to celebrate, what feels like, such a momentous occasion alone. Seeing as it is a pandemic, I had to improvise. Not that my normal go-to would be to throw a party but I really wanted to. I am overjoyed to be alive and sharing each and every moment with those that I love. So I thought, how do I honor them? This life wouldn’t feel half as special without the wonderful people that make me feel loved.
Here’s my plan. I have written a card to all of those that I have felt made a significant impact on my life this year. I have attached a small christmas cake, because it is the holiday season. I have gone around to each one of their houses and simply left the card on their doorstep. It seems like a small act but It’s the only way I know how to show my appreciation for those I love and for those who love me. I can’t ever repay the kindness and love I have received. I want those individuals to know it hasn’t gone without appreciation or recognition.
This day is incredibly important to me. I think it would be easy to sit in the trauma and anguish that experience left me with. Rather I’d like to acknowledge the gift it has given me. Without going through a life or death experience, it’s difficult to convey how precious life is. I know first hand how fleeting time can be. In one moment everything can change. So I will use every moment as if it is my last. I will do my best to cherish the individuals in my life that make me feel cared for.
I hope that you can join me in celebrating life. I know it probably doesn’t look how you’d like it to right now but this moment isn’t forever. There is also always something to be grateful for. That’s not to say that someone has it worse so you shouldn’t feel sorry for yourself. Your experience and struggle is extremely valid. I’m just saying that when I feel lost in my circumstance, gratitude grounds me. I find solace knowing that if the world continued to fall apart, I’d be okay because I’m grateful for the air I breathe.
I hope you have an amazing day. I hope your day is filled with joy, laughter, and kindness. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.