Tomorrow is my forty seventh birthday. I can hardly believe it, I still feel like I’m in my thirties mentally, but not so much physically.
I have been struggling for years with many chronic illnesses, but my recent health scare has changed me forever.
I was diagnosed with multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli at the end of September 2016.
I am still going to the hematologist often and taking blood thinners daily. I am still trying to come to grips with what happened. I am still praying that I will fully recover, and get through the overwhelming anxiety this has caused.
I am still dealing with the what ifs.
What if I did not pay attention to my symptoms and go to the emergency room?
What if I did not get there in time?
What if the emboli was too large for the blood thinners to work quickly and save my life?
What if the doctors didn’t figure out what was wrong?
What if my children and husband had to live without me?
This birthday is different.
After going through a life-threatening event everything looks and feels disparate.
The sky seems bluer, the trees seem more colorful, and my children’s faces couldn’t be more beautiful.
Yes, this birthday is different because it almost didn’t come.
I could have died instantly in September, but now I live on. For myself, for my family and for my friends.
And, as I sit here typing this blog, I am thinking about what is really important. It has never been more clear.
Spending time with the people you love, and helping others.
When we reach our final hour we will not be thinking of the fortunes we amassed, we will be thinking of the loved ones we have gained. We will be thinking of the many people we have assisted along the way. We will be wondering if we made a difference.
So treasure the ones you love before it’s too late.
Help those in need while you still can.
Make a difference right here and now.
You can do it. It doesn’t have to be some amazing viral phenomenon. All it takes is a smile, a helping hand, and a loving heart.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Show kindness to someone in need. Help lift someone’s spirits. Buy someone a meal or a cup of coffee. Donate to a worthwhile organization dedicated to serving others. Donate your time. Aid someone crossing the street, or shovel their sidewalk. Make that phone call. Look for a new job. Look for happiness. Treat everyone with respect.
It is all within your grasp. You just have to plan, work hard, dream and take action. And as you do these things, you will be happier and feel more fulfilled.
It doesn’t take much effort to make someone’s day. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to treat the ones you love well.
My birthday wish is that we will all devote more time to doing these things. To making those we love happy, and to helping those in need.
If we all do this, the world will be a much better place. Love will prevail.
And each time I blow out my birthday candles, I will remember this wish, and I will hope it comes true.