Friday, December 25, 2015


Merry Christmas! We say it so offhandedly during the holiday season, often almost without thinking. And I say it sincerely to all who are reading this Blog. We mean it and we mean well. For many it is a religious celebration, for others not. But when we tell someone Merry Christmas it is usually meant as a happy greeting and I believe it is.

Since I got sick with that mysterious lung disease two years ago, got listed and waited for my lung transplant and then was blessed to receive the Gift of Life 13 months ago I find myself feeling much gratitude all the time. But most especially at Christmastime, I really feel the gratitude and very blessed to be able to spend time with my family and friends.

This is the first year I have been well enough to enjoy Christmas with my family. It has been and continues to be a very special day for me and my family. I have an appreciation for the gift I received and while I think of my donor often, today I have given a special moment quietly to myself to think of my donor with much gratitude. This is likely not as special a Christmas for his family as it is for mine and so I honor my donor and his family on this special day.  If I could see them in person, I would want to give them a hug and thank them for supporting their son's desire to be an organ donor. It has been and will forever be, the greatest gift I have ever received.

This is a special time of year already, as we all gather (when possible) with family and share gifts and be together. It's a time when we all actually stop and take the time to be with those we love and celebrate our traditions and families. 

For me, this is just magnified this year. 2015 has been so very special. I have continued to recover and work on regaining my strength and celebrate the One Year Anniversary of my transplant. And to be able to celebrate Christmas this year is so very special. 

At breakfast this morning we raised our juice glasses in a toast of Merry Christmas and I thanked my family for all they have done for me for the past several years. Now, as we enjoy some pre-dinner celebration, those who can have raised a glass of champagne, while I raised a glass of sparkling cider in a toast of the day. Merry Christmas! We are all sitting together on the couch, all squeezed in tight watching my niece's favorite movie (she is a movie major). It is a small thing, but two years ago it was something I was unable to do. Just to be able to sit with my family and enjoy what we like to enjoy is so very meaningful to me and I don't take it for granted.

It's Christmas Day! A day to celebrate the meaning of Christmas (whatever that means to you). But it's a special day to take the time to be thankful for those we love, thankful for all our blessings and even have some fun and exchange gifts and celebrate our family traditions.

I have a new tradition every day, but at Christmas it takes on special meaning. We exchange gifts at Christmas, but I already have the Greatest Gift of all. I got my Lung Transplant and I am alive to celebrate Christmas with my family. It is a great day and I am so happy to be able to sit with my family, reminisce about Christmases past, laugh and relax and enjoy the day.

Christmas has always been a special time for me and my family. It has become even more special since I received my lung. 

So on this Christmas Day, I give thanks most of all to my donor and his family. I give thanks to the medical team that has taken care of me and literally saved my life. I give thanks for a wonderful family that has gone above and beyond and supported me through the worst time of my life. I am blessed and grateful on this Christmas Day. 

I will work hard to keep this spirit in me every day throughout the rest of the year. We talk about that, many of us; keeping the spirit of Christmas throughout the year. I will do my very best to honor and remember the great gift that I have received. 

To all who have supported me and my family, I thank you. This is such a special day and I am lucky to enjoy it. 

Merry Christmas to all. May you all feel the true spirit of the season and enjoy your day however you celebrate Christmas!

Standing by our Tree!

"White Christmas" - Bing Crosby

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