Convention of Statesmen

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Recipe for a Happy Life

Today's recipe will be a little, okay a lot, different than usual. Over the last week I've been recovering surgery while at the same time my husband's body begin rejecting his new kidney. Unbeknownst to us, this was not an immediate death sentence.

Three days before I was to enter the hospital for what is termed "major surgery" my husband sat in his hospital bed and was told his body had begun rejection of his transplanted kidney. We were devastated, who wouldn't be? My husband had only been healthy since April, when the transplant occurred, and a few short months later it appeared as if life was going to return to an endless cycle of illness, dialysis and hospital stay after hospital stay.

Within an hour, Alvin's main nephrologist entered the room and explained the treatment he was going to undergo, beginning that day, that could not only stop the rejection but reverse it. We were stunned. Someone, somewhere had one day had a passing thought, "I wonder would happen if I replaced all the antibodies in a transplant patient . . ." and lo, this many years later, there is a highly successful treatment which stops rejection in its tracks, most of the time. And, thank God, this is one of those times.

With me in one hospital and Alvin in another, we had a delightful time texting one another, speaking on the phone and my sweet husband, sneaking out of UVRMC and coming to the AF hospital to spend stolen hours with me. Very sweet, poignant and funny, all at the same time.

We are both in recovery mode and our energy levels are at an all time low. But here's the point of the article, talk about burying the lead, we didn't let it get us down. Christmas was days away, we were both in the hospital, different hospitals, (and we're young too!) and it could have been a dismal holiday season for us. But nope, we chose to make the most of everything. The giggling which occurred as Alvin was sneaking in and out of the hospital, hustling to be back for shift change . . . very funny. Christmas Day, although our mellowest ever, was spent watching new movies, sleeping, reading new books, sleeping, eating and sleeping. (Tristi brought us Christmas dinner.) Both of us took it easy and just enjoyed each others company. Laughing, holding hands . . . just being in love and happy to be together.

Why? Why would we take an optimistic view of the events? I've had time to think about it and it really boils down to one simple thing: life. It's really that simple. Life is going to throw curves at us. Some are the easy smooth kind and some are the kind that literally rock your world.

Like everyone else, Alvin and I have had our share of curves. With an eye toward the eternities, we decided long ago to never let the little things, or the big ones, get us down. We wake up every day and the sun is still in the sky. We can choose to dwell on the worst life can dish out, weeping and wailing about how unfair everything is or . . . we can decide to take each challenge, triumph over it and move on. That second alternative is full of life, hope and breathless expectation.

The recipe for a happy life is to overcome, no matter how difficult, everything and stand as a child at the top of the heap, king of the hill! Or queen, as the case may be. Relish life. Cherish those you love. Remember those waiting on the other side of the veil. Remember our Father in Heaven loves you more than you can ever know. Remember there is more to life than the grind of daily living. There is life in all its beautiful , glorious color, and remember, above all us, life is a stepping stone to the eternities. Something we fought for, something we yearned for, something we succeeded in achieving . . . all we have to do is triumph over this too and we're on our way home, the one we left so long ago.

So live, breathe and love . . . and don't forget to laugh along the way.

Return to the Neighborhood.
Recipe for a Happy Life Recipe for a Happy Life Reviewed by Candace Salima on Friday, December 26, 2008 Rating: 5