Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today is a big day for me. For us. It has been two years since I had a heart attack, and it is a day for reflection and celebration. Since that day we have been through a number of life-altering changes, and we have survived and thrived and celebrated every day. With Jerry by my side supporting me every day, I have been able to gain my strength and my soul back. There is nothing like a few backhands from God to get your attention, and two years ago I chose to listen. I was smoking and stressing and worrying and taking on the responsibilities of the world, and I lay in the hospital bed thinking that I was done. My time was up. When the doctor told me I needed to make some lifestyle changes if I wanted to see the future beyond that day, it registered loud and clear. Two years away seemed very far. Too far. I was worn out, tired and broken-hearted. The previous years had taken their toll. With more fear than bravado, I realized I had had my last cigarette, and that was that. For me, it was a very clear choice. All of a sudden quitting was easy. Much easier than dying. When faced with that choice I didn't even want a cigarette. I wanted to see my children grow up, I had alot of experiences I was hoping to enjoy, and I wanted to see the future with Jerry. All of this required my participation and dedication if I was going to see that happen. No excuses. I won't say the withdrawal was easy, but the reason for the withdrawal was as easy as it could be. Just do it. So I did. And Jerry did it right along side me. That just blows me away. I am so lucky to have someone in my life who cares that much for me to suffer like that. And suffer he did. The past two years have seen alot of growth in our lives. My family and especially Jerry have been incredibly supportive and helpful. He has nursed me along when I needed it, kept me focused and allowed me to be crazy when I needed that too. We have been able to live our dream and change our life and enjoy it all together. That is a blessing I am grateful for every day. It has not been without its heartaches and adjustments. Leaving our oldest kids on Long Island is probably the hardest thing I've ever done, but I am also confident that our relationships have not suffered but changed and grown because of our distance and extended visits. Another blessing. Allison is thriving. It just knocks me out each day when I look around and realize that all we hoped and prayed for is coming true, and it is working like we planned. We work hard at it and it is paying off. I went to the cardiologist this morning for a stress test, and other than some minor artery changes in my leg, I am in good shape. A high five to the cardiologist and a nice trip home with my buddy gave me plenty to be thankful for, and I am. Tonight we are enjoying a game of cards or something with Dan and Jennie, and a glass of sparkling grape juice to toast the day. Who would have thought two years ago that we'd be living upstate, retired, and working towards running a farm, with an apiary on the side? If anyone thinks back to two years ago, what were you doing? Things have probably changed dramatically for alot of you - but I am lucky enough each year to have a date that I can point to where I made the changes necessary to give me precious time with my family, and the choices necessary to make sure I'm around for a long time. Without getting all sappy and teary- I am incredibly proud of that. Just thought I'd tell ya. High Five.

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