We all have different ways and reasons for celebrating. I took these images a little over four years ago, on the day before I left the hospital after the month-long coma and the month in rehab, relearning how to walk, eat, ect. It wasn't a celebratory time. And yet we celebrated. I was never more ready to get on with my life. These horrible, out of focus, low-res images give you a tiny taste of my world for over a month (once I was awake). Thankfully, Nancy didn't take any photographs of me during the coma. I don't think I could have handled that.
So what do we celebrate? We celebrate the fact that I didn't end up in this wheelchair for the rest of my life the way the doctors originally said I would. They were sure at the very least, I would need a walker for day to day use. I walked out of the hospital under my own power, with ski poles in each hand.
I am grateful not to have to have someone bring me ice water with a straw all the time. I'm thrilled to be able to celebrate not needing a cane to walk to the bathroom. Or having to call for a nurse so I can pee.
I celebrate being able to thermo-regulate on my own now. Not needing a huge fan in my room to cool me off is a big deal. Not needing ice water all the time is a relief. For the longest time, I was sure this would be a permanent fixture in my life.
So we celebrate different stuff this time of year. It isn't about the tree (which we don't have) or the ornaments or sparkly lights. It isn't about the presents we struggle to figure out how to pay for. Instead we revel in my recovery... in being alive and able to walk without fear of dropping dead. When I went out for a walk last night at 9pm, it was 4 degrees. Last year I would have been afraid of what that would do to my heart. Now, I figure it is time to push on. As the weather warms up this week and the snow melts I want to get out on my bike to ride some more. In December, in upstate NY... it sure seems like an odd way to celebrate the holidays, but there you have it.