Thank you for the immense gift of another 365 days of life. Life is the most precious thing. Your time with me has brought tidal waves of countless emotions… pain, desperation, joy, peace, gratitude, anger, fear, grief, calm… an infinite amount of emotions were experienced in your numbered days. A beautiful 365 days. A painful 365 days. A heartbreaking 365 days. A peaceful 365 days. A poetic 365 days. A precious 365 days. There are not enough words to suffice for summing up this amount of days. Nothing can portray an entire year of life with just a few words. Words are so powerful, yet they can also be so weak when compared to the magnitude of all that living encompasses. An entire year of moments and memories is more large and robust than any tangible item. 2017 you were full of things that can never be recreated perfectly. These are just a few of the countless reasons why words often times can’t bring justice that is deserved when it comes to describing a year. One word that does come close to portraying you, 2017, is a powerful word: living.
Memories flood my vision as I reflect upon your Year. You were the very description of a mountain range. There were so many peaks, and an equal amount of valleys. The terrain was not smooth or easy to hike. However, your terrain was stunning beyond words. Tears were shed and laughter formed the best kind of tummy aches between the true physical stomach agony. You were full of joyous progress, and areas of tragic decline. The decisions that had to be made this year were not easy. Often times the decisions for medical care were choices that were filled with anguish and concern over the best option. However, every choice and every move this year was made with the intent of pursuing that word used to capture 2017: living.
One of the most intimate and raw lessons I have learned in life is that nothing is guaranteed, especially our time on this earth. This means each day must be taken with immense stride and each moment must be truly treasured. It is a cliche that is told time after time, but it is the truth. Life is worth radiating each second. After all, that is what living is about. Living is a beautiful thing. It means trying to experience as much as possible. It means trying to laugh as much as one can. It means trying to cry as much as one can. It means trying to smile as much as one can. To live is to experience all of life; the good and the bad.
You were a powerful year of many moments where my family and I proved that I can still live a beautiful life. Often times medicine and science classifies certain conditions, such as Intestinal Failure, as debilitating. While this condition is the most debilitating disease I’ve battled, I have a support system around me that allows me to live an incredible life. This year I have been able to have countless experiences. I got to see the mountains for the first time, go skiing in Beaver Creek, submit blood work for continuous genetic research in Boston in helps of paving a better path for future complex cases, continuing the pursuit of my education, been inspired by others traveling on similar paths, and the list goes on. There have been many hard moments as well. Requiring around the clock pain control, having a medical case deemed untreatable without other drastic measures, and seeing a continued decline with gastrointestinal issues. However, I like to think you, 2017, gave us the painful moments so that the beauty of the highs shine even brighter. It’s the angst that we endure that allows us to thrive off of even the smallest of victories. After all, no victory is too small.
My time spent with you, 2017, was full of gracious living massively due to the kindness of others. This year I have again humbly witnessed the infinite love humanity is capable of giving. From nurses, to doctors, to friends, to family, to researchers, to care partners, to surgeons, to medical assistants, to each person who has left a loving comment or sign of support on my blog and social media pages. I have been blessed to have a village supporting my family and I each step of the journey. I truly believe it is the power of prayer that has carried us through this. All of these beautiful people have made this year possible, and I wish I could personally thank everyone who has formed the stars that have made the magnificent constellation of 2017 possible.
As I enter the new year I can think of countless New Years resolutions… however they all correlate to the same core value that embodied 2017: living. Here is to another year of living in this crazy, beautiful, gorgeous world. Here is to another year of fighting to find ways to live life to its fullest, no matter the limitations medicine dictates. Here is to another 365 days of living with those I love. Here is to life… I thank all for following my team’s journey this year. All of these people have been a very special part of this year. I can not wait to see what the new year has in store for everyone.
May this fresh start bring all of the goodness everyone’s hearts desires. Thank you 2017 for another year of life. Thank you.