As someone who almost lost her life in the last year, I have reason to celebrate more deeply than I ever. We mark the days of our lives by milestones, memories and rituals. What is more important than being alive to celebrate the holidays?
I believe in marking every milestone, like we did when we were kids – the day I first crawled up my physical therapist’s leg, heaving from being out of breath. The day I first got out of a wheel chair. Learned to walk again, the day I climbed the my first stair, the first of many, and finally learned to shower again. These are big victories to someone who only nine months ago had a major stroke.
This has been a year of firsts. I remember going to my first yoga class on the bluff overlooking the ocean, wondering whether I had the physical strength to do even one downward-facing dog. I remember when I learned to open my Mac computer again so that I could tentatively stroke the keys. Learning to type so that I could write again, which is my passion. I recall my brain being so confused at all the sensory overload in the computer.
I am exciting about this life, I find it beautiful, heartbreaking, sometimes too sad for words. I find that music often matches my emotions, the high notes, the soaring duos of Pavoratti combined with James Brown. Good food. Friends who care. The ever-changing colors of the bay.
I find so much to be grateful for. As I think about celebrating this year, I find the sparkling lights on the Christmas trees overlooking the water more magnificent than ever. I hope that you, too will celebrate deeply.