The Gift

As Christmas approaches and we make lists of people near and dear to us, so that we can give them a special gift, I am reminded of one of the most precious gifts I have been given, my AVM. Each gift we give, as well as receive, comes with a responsibility. Some times the gift seems to be one that you didn't want, you didn't want to care for it or just couldn't understand why it was given to you, but as time goes on you find that the gift fits perfectly into your life.
The first gift I was given was life! I had no idea it was threatened until March 17, 2010. The next gift was the gift of those who have traveled this journey with me. At first I thought I had lost much because of my new situation but found quickly that every time something was "taken away" it came with a more precious gift in it's place. I lost the ability to work as I had my whole life and the monies that work afforded me. I gained time, time to engage in my own personal pleasures as well as time with friends and family. I lost my fiance' but it is best to realize the the extent of ones commitment level before placing everything on the line. What I gained is my freedom to love and live without boundaries. I lost my memory or at least some of it and although it made for some very frustrating days I have overcome. The gift is knowing I can use my own personal tools to survive. My son lost "his mom" or at least what he knew to be his mom but what he and I both gained was a deeper appreciation of each other.
My gift has given me much. I have met people I would not have ever met, including the new me. I love deeper now. I smile more now. I take deep breathes now. I wait longer now. I appreciate more now. I live more now.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my friends! If Christmas is not your holiday then may you feel the joy of the holidays and the gifts it brings in any form or fashion!

Nice perspective!

This is beautiful. I feel the same way about my AVM. Oh, I get frustrated at times when I am slow or can't do something, but all your comments apply to me also. It has been 9 years since my surgery. I am a retired school teacher and love my new slowed down life. I am blessed. Marcy Johnson

What a beautiful tribute to life, family and friends and to resilience. I think for a lot of people with avms, whether it has been obliterated or still living with it, the AVM is an odd blessing in disguise. Not always, but many times this is true. In trying to understand when we are diagnosed (why me?) you explore something we have all felt. Have a wonderful holiday season Lori and your "new family" is lucky to have you:-)