Before today, all birthdays were a day of celebration, gifts, and cake!! Today takes on a whole new meaning. Last night before bed I said my prayers and thanked GOD for giving me tomorrow. Tomorrow, why would I have to be thankful for tomorrow you ask? Well, until this year I had always taken for granted that March 31st would come. In the past, it symbolized the day I got to drive, my first beer and then last year turning the big 40!! Joe had always told me that when you turn 40, you start to fall apart. I laughed at him and thought he was nuts! Well, Joe you were right beyond your words. I had my first set of stitches from a pizza cutter incident, diverticulitis, and the big Heart Attack! Yikes, let's hope 41 is a better year.
Not only did I fall apart I almost lost it all. I sit here and write this blog post today with tears filling my eyes. Crazy right!! I should be over the moon excited that I get to go out to eat and have Birthday Cake ( Heart Healthy of course... maybe not), but all I can think about is that this day almost didn't happen.
There is no playbook that the nurses give you when you leave the hospital.( How I wish there was!) It would have chapters such as 1. Happy Days that now take on a new meaning. 2. Emotions beyond emotions. 3. Sam's Club memberships for Kleenex. 3. Grieving the old you. 4. Family, strengthening the ties that bind. 5. Never taking anything for granted. 6. Exercise.. The turtle vs. the rabbit. 7. Cardiac Rehab, bonding with strangers over your common bond.
It's been fun getting all the birthday wishes on Facebook and texts from friends and families. Although I will have to admit I have had many tears, they are happy tears. Tears, that I have so many loved ones in my life. Friends that I haven't talked to for years are reaching out. As I sit here and write I listen to the 10,000 Maniacs and their song These are the Days. A song that holds a deep meaning. Joe and I call it our song, I listened to it over and over when my dad passed to remind me that life must go on. And today LIFE DOES GO ON!! In the song, it says " These are days that you'll remember, never before and never since I promise." Although these last seven weeks have been hard as crazy as it is to say, I wouldn't change the experiences I've had. It has made my family slow down and begin to enjoy every moment of every day. We find ourselves laughing more. Parker's favorite quote is "Mom, did I just give you another heart attack?" Humor makes us who we are.. and everyone needs more of that in their lives!!
Joe for my birthday this morning gave me the Pandora Heart charm for my bracelet! It sparkles, just like my true heart.. for the new lease on life GOD has given me!! Both Julie and Jennifer gave me the bracelets above it. The Circle represents the path of life and the sailboat the journey.
Tomorrow I graduate from Cardiac Rehab!! I will be holding my diploma high. As one chapter in my life ends another begins!!