THE BLOG
12/31/2014 04:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Gift of Life

The worth and meaning of a gift do not come from the size of the box, its monetary value, or even the ribbon that adorns it. Its meaning comes from how it makes you feel inside as the recipient and as the giver. The greatest gifts are not boxes filled with things, but beautiful presents that hold so much more: love, kindness, selflessness, and gratitude. They all make up the beautiful gift of life.

A Miraculous Gift
I have received the most beautiful of gifts. This gift cannot fit in a box, nor can it merely be purchased: It is one of a kind and irreplaceable. What is this magnificent gift? My life.

A month ago, cystic fibrosis annihilated my life. Sure, CF has always been present in my life, but never has it threatened to steal it all so quickly: to unabashedly wreak havoc on everything I know and love. To make my life almost unrecognizable. To be confronted with some difficult questions, realities of CF, and the possibilities of what the near and distant future might look like. My eyes brim with tears as I think about the last month, and what it all means: the gift that is life and the people that make my days so beautiful.

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In the course of a month, my lung function has steadily increased despite a new bacteria making its home in my lungs: adding itself to the already resistant team of bacteria trying to undermine every breath. I am so grateful to my CF team for literally giving me every breath and continuing to fight with me and for me. A month ago I couldn't walk up a few steps, take a shower, carry on a conversation, or merely walk across the room without gasping for air. My body has been so ravaged by CF, but each day I continue to get stronger, and am so very grateful for each percent of lung function gained. I know those devastating days will come again, and I don't think I will ever be ready for them. I know how quickly everything can change again. But today I celebrate each victory: walking up the steps, singing a few lines, and any signs of winning this battle against CF. It's the most amazing gift: the gift of life.

The Perfect Gift
This gift I have been given is immeasurable. It is priceless. It is irreplaceable. It cannot be simply wrapped in a box, adorned with the most ornate bow. This most extraordinary gift is my life: made up of beautiful breaths, unconditional love, and endless gratitude.