Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Tale of Two Years (and Four Lungs)

Dear 2011,

Well, hello there.

Okay, so I have to be honest: I am SUPER excited to "meet" you. Seriously. I think I can honestly say that I have never been more thrilled to ring in a new year -- even 2000, which was, of course, thrilling in actual celebration and important for me personally in that it was the year I graduated high school and spread my wings, so to speak. And please, don't get me wrong. I've had some fantastic years in my life -- many of which I look back on now with total awe that I could ever deserve to be so blessed or so lucky -- but 2011, I'm 100% sincere when I say that you have all the potential in the world to take home the big prize. You are, to put it mildly, potential personified. And for that reason alone, darling new year, I am extremely thrilled to welcome you into my life.

Of course, your predecessor was pretty darn impressive in its own right, obviously. I mean, how many years come complete with a brand new set of organs? (Important sidenote: please don't take that statement as a challenge, future years. I really think I'll hang onto what I've got for now if it's all the same to you.) It's undeniable that 2010 was about as "landmark" as they come, and that it was filled with joy, sorrow, hope, fear, laughter, tears, and miracles beyond my wildest dreams. For that, at least, I hope 2010 knows that I am forever and truly grateful.

In some ways, of course, it's always hard to separate the worst moments in your life from the best. By which I mean that true joy often stems from hard lessons, or from overcoming tragic circumstances -- at least that's quite often been my experience. And by that measurement, no doubt, 2010 was pretty much as awesome as they come, itself a fact made clear for me when I spend time rereading parts of this blog, or just revisiting memories. I laugh out loud pretty much every time I read those awesome comments you left me during my stay in the ICU, for example, and I smile to know that people from all across the country and even the world were lifting up their hearts in prayer, love, and celebration right along with my family. Wowza. No, seriously. Wowza, in every sense of the (very made-up) word.

Charles Dickens started out one of his most famous novels with the words now dreaded by high school English students the country over: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . ."

I'm pretty sure Dickens might have been waiting for transplant when he wrote that passage.

Okay, fine, so maybe not. But the point still stands that difficult moments in life have a strange habit of bringing people together, showing us what's important, and teaching us lessons that might scare us in the moment, but at the very least have the potential for some pretty interesting stories (or blog posts) down the road.

Although I have to say that if 2010 was both the best of times and the worst of the times, then I think I'll settle for 2011 just being pretty darn good in its own right. I'll gladly accept a few less life-changing lessons and brilliant surges of pure delight if I can also, in turn, cut down on the sleepless night full of worry and the scared looks I saw on way too many faces in 2010. I know I have a lot more to learn, and I promise I'm excited to get there, but for right now I think I'd be okay making those discoveries under just slightly less difficult circumstances, 2011 -- that is, if that's okay with you, of course.

Of course, my New Year's wish for all my beautiful friends out there is similar, though not, it goes without saying, exactly the same. I wish the best of times (always), I wish you harder times (when necessary), and above all I wish you excitement, joy, wonder, and discovery through each and every second of this magical experience that we call life. And when it all seems just a tad bit overwhelming, then I wish you, as Dickens might say, a true "spring of hope." And maybe, if we all get really lucky, a few more seasons as well.

With love, gratitude, and some serious excitement for the year to come,

xoxo beautiful people,


  1. Amen. Let's dig in and feast on the smorgasbord that is 2011. By the way, is it weird that I see hang gliding in your future, Piper? I think it's because, subconsciously, I want another entertaining blog post recap. :-)

    Lots of Love and Big Hugs,


  2. A "spring of hope" for everyone, Piper! I look forward to more posts from you. it keeps the spirit of transplant alive.

  3. You have been an inspiration to me throughout 2010. For this, I am hoping that 2011 requires a little bit of editing to Dickens famous words... Maybe something like, "It was the best of times, yep, it was the best of times".

  4. That was a great blog, Piper. It gave me chills. 2010 was one heck of a year. I think that even with all of the crap that Jim and I have been through, 2010 was amazing! Now lets go enjoy "the best of times"!