I have a lot to be thankful for because this time last year, my brother was fighting a raging war against Leukemia. I never felt so scared or so uncertain about anything in my life, and I have never looked the same at anything since then. Even though I was sick with distress, I couldn’t help but realize how lucky I was. I was almost 28-years-old when he was diagnosed, and up until that point, I had never even come close to losing anyone in my immediate circle. Everyone dear to me is still here. Of course I knew that death and illness were a harsh reality of life, but I never fully understood the brutal impact of everything it entails. My brother’s illness took what youthful naivety remained and left a grim sense of mortality in its place. As much as I sometimes long for the security I used to have, I know that it has made me a better person.
I am one of the lucky ones. My brother made it and continues to show his resilience with each passing day. Because of him, I fully understand that life can literally change with every breath we take and that every moment is a precious gift. Be thankful for each day you have with the people you love most. Hug them often. Never hesitate to tell them that you love them. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a long life full of happy moments with family and friends.