My Birthday Wish After a Recent Health Scare

Today, December 2nd, is my 47th birthday. I can hardly believe it. Part of me still feels like I’m in my 30s.

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 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 to me. 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, I am thinking about what is really important to me. It has never been more clear: spending time with the people I love, and helping others.

Treasure the ones you love. Help those in need if you can. Make a difference right here and now. 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 if you can, or 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 doesn’t take much effort to make someone’s day and treat the ones we 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 can.

If we all do this, the world can be a much better place. Love can prevail.

And each time I blow out my birthday candles, I will remember this wish, and I will hope it comes true.

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