THE BLOG
12/24/2014 10:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Act of Truly Living

The most beautiful moments in life come from taking risks, making every breath count, and choosing to live. I mean truly live. To be present in every moment. To feel: love, pain, heartache, joy, gratitude. To feel: everything.

As I stare into the candles that cast a beautiful glow upon my cake, I think about what they really mean. As I take a moment and look around at the people I love next to me, I can't help but wish to stop time for just a moment: to imprint the feeling of this very moment forever into my memory. I look back at the candles flickering on the cake and and am weighed by the meaning of this birthday and all it represents. Meaning for the past, the present, and the future. It represents life and every moment I've been so graciously given, and every moment I have yet to be gifted.

Endless Hope
For a moment I didn't want to blow out the candles. I wanted to bask in the glow of their hope and the gracious gift that I had been given yet another birthday. I just wanted to exist and be thankful for being allowed this very moment, for all the people in my life, and how completely beautiful it all was. But I knew that taking in that breath and blowing out those candles also represented another day Cystic Fibrosis had not won. It represented the beauty of tomorrow, my next birthday, and the hope that can never be extinguished.

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It would be an understatement to say that I have been overwhelmed with emotion these past few weeks: assaulted beyond recognition by cystic fibrosis and the toll it has taken on all our lives. The fragility of life, the incredible love, generosity, and support of so many amazing people, the realities of CF, decisions about the future, and such immeasurable goodness amidst uncertainty have all sent endless tears streaming down my cheeks. These past few weeks have proven themselves to be stronger than my ability to contain my emotions: leaving me to feel every moment, relive every memory, and whole-heartedly give thanks for the beauty and people life has given me. I have been gifted beyond measure with such beauty and goodness.

The candles on my cake represent the life I have lived and the life I have yet to live: all a beautiful gift. They are all filled with immense hope and goodness. Each day I am stronger, more grateful, and filled with more love. This will be a birthday that will live with me always.

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Here is to a beautiful year 28. I promise to live in each moment, be present in every beautiful breath gifted to me, and be grateful for it all. I will truly live.

Are you living? I mean truly living?