It's late Tuesday night, January 2, 2007.
!!! *2007* !!!
Another milestone hit. 180 days post-transplant. This was the calendar point which marked the "less than 50% chance" of seeing this day.
After 15 days in room 5105 at City of Hope, I will walk out on my own two feet tomorrow to return home once again. I guess I've been in denial of my own condition and this last episode has taught me that I have no choice but to take it easy and not thrust myself back into the big world too soon. Mantra for the next few months: Time, patience, care and gratitude.
Christmas and New Year's in the hospital isn't so bad when you can still feel the love around you. Being in the hospital magnifies the meaning of the Eve. What normally is a warm fuzzy feeling inside, crucibles into a white-hot bonfire and you grasp your heart for fear that it will burst pyroclastic in every direction, including inward; an implosion of passion and grace in dreams of Holiday glitter.
Being in the hospital this time, I've learned in a somber way how fortunate I am to be alive. Since being here I've discovered more patients I befriended in the Fall never got the chance to fight because they never found a donor. And next door to my room, I am trying to help a young woman who is in the same exact position I was one year ago. No donor. No hope. Under heavy chemo and given only months to live. Her husband is praying that she will see next New Year's Day.
On the wise suggestion of a dear friend, instead of New Year's Resolutions, I am writing ALL that I am thankful for this past year and the list is still growing. And through the excitement of a few loving souls, I am writing all that I plan to do with this 2nd 2nd chance at life. I think it's a cool exercise for anyone to try.
I hope everyone's holidays brought joy and peace. And the chance to love another, and to be with those who mean the world to you.
On the first day of the year I learned how to fly.
And I learned how to play again.
On the first day of the year I held hands with a friend in need
And then ate ice cream by the bucketful.
On the first day of the year I held another soul close to mine
And dreamt of far away towns and unseen backyard gardens
And then laughed until I snorted.
On the first day of the year I woke up with tears cooling the corners of my eyes
Remembering. Letting Go. And glistening for the future.
On the first day of the year I reflected
on a most terrible and most miraculous time
And I saw all the ones I loved shining in the big luscious sky
Sighing, kicking, bursting, soaring, and singing
Her arms are wide open
Her breaths are deep
And the miracles are just beginning
"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."
-William James (1842-1910)