The thing I don’t love much about the holidays is that there is such a singular focus on one day when I think that focus should be spread out through all the days of the year. Gratitude. Community. Family.
I do not know if you were a 20-year-old boy who had his whole life ahead of him. I do not know if you were a 35-year-old mom who left her kids behind who may never remember you as they grow up. I do not know if you were a 17-year-old girl whose parents made the decision of organ and tissue donation for you. I do not know you. I do not know your family. I do not know the sorrow and grief left behind for your family. I do not know your name, your personality, or your passions.
But, I do know one thing that is beyond irrefutable. Gratefulness. Thankfulness. Mine. I’m sure that the millimeters of tissue put in my hip pale in comparison to your eyes that can still see life, your lungs that can breathe in that salty ocean air or your heart that beats with love in another’s body. But your gift has given me more than the gift of mobility. It has given me more than hip hope. It has given me an even deeper appreciation of the mortality of us all. It has given me the ability to celebrate moments of gratefulness 365 days a year. It’s not a just “thank you” kind of gratefulness. It is an awe-inspiring gratefulness. The kind that one feels standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time. The kind of gratefulness that one hears as a baby takes that first gulp of air followed by those wondrous cries. It is that kind of gratefulness that I have for your family’s decision and yours. So thank you!
With much gratitude,