Wednesday, July 16, 2008

35: A perfectly imperfect life.

Tomorrow I will be 35. I never thought I would make it to 35. I almost didn't. I am so grateful I tear up every time I think about it.

26 years with CF lungs. They were difficult but they got me through the hardest part of life--adolescence.

4 years with my first set of donor lungs. They may have failed me eventually but they also taught me the greatest lessons of my life--The Divine Healing of Dying, That Which Is Important and acceptance in the truest meaning of the word.

4 + years with my beautiful, healthy second set of donor lungs. Since March 2004, my life has blossomed in a way I never could have imagined. My sweet husband, my exciting new career, my amazing experiences of living with a healthy body and love. Lots of love from old friends, family and my new friends I have met in this latest leg of the journey. I am truly the most lucky human ever to walk the earth.

Even if tomorrow was my last day here on earth, these 35 years have been so full and intense and breathtaking, I could never cry a tear for my departure. I have lived. I will continue to live as long as these lungs and this body will allow. I am profoundly and completely grateful.

Some people feel sad for the days they grow one year older. I rejoice. 35. 35 feels like such an accomplishment. Such a gift. A gift I never thought I would ever open and one that took great effort on the part of so many people.

Thank you first, to my family who have traveled with me on this journey to 35 since July 17, 1973.
Thank you to my doctors, surgeons and nurses (Becky in particular) who have kept me well and saved my life...many times.
Thank you to my donor families for making the choice to let another live even during the time of great loss and grief.
Thank you to my husband for being so kind and making my life complete.
Thank you to my dear friends for holding my hand when I have felt weak and running with me when I was strong.
Thank you to my therapist who has kept me sane when life got insane.
Thank you to James for taking a chance on me, providing big opportunities and becoming my creative soul mate.
Thank you to everyone who has made my life richer, bolder, sweeter, funnier, happier and more meaningful.

I truly have so much to be thankful for. 35. What a wonderful age. What a wonderful year this has been. What amazing goals and plans I have on the horizon. What a perfectly imperfect life.

35. So sweet.


Paula Church said...

HAPPY HAPPY Birthday to you! I don't know what made me check your blog today - but now I know why! Have a great day! And know that I am thankful for you reaching 35 too! I have learned quite a bit in the short time I can count you as friend.
ps. Video is almost done!!!

Femail doc said...

I hope you had a happy birthday, and I wish you joy, success, and places to run to in the coming year.

Kate said...

Tiffany. I'm just finishing your book and I've gotta say "YOu Rock!!" I'm 9 years post from a Dbl Lung. My journey has not been very smooth, Lot's and lot's of bumps. But I'm still breathing. And trying my best to have the best life I can. You game me so much inspiration.
Just want to say thanks!
And Happy 35th

Kathryn said...

Happy Birthday Girl! You are the greatest and the wisest, too.

Connie said...

A belated Happy Birthday to you! I'm reading your book and looking forward to writing about it soon. You inspire me a lot. Reading this post about being grateful for the life you've had and are living now puts things into perspective. I hope you enjoyed your special day!

Sarcastica said...

I hope you had a good birthday Tiffany!!!

Midlife Midwife said...

Happy Belated Birthday. Thank you for working so hard so that 35 years later we could all say our lives have been enriched because you are a part of them.