Everybody knows I’m a sentimentalist.
Last Christmas, I was making my way, firmly, back into the big wide world with a donor heart, H2. Even though the previous two months had been miraculous enough, I could not have imagined that the miracle would continue so wonderfully through 2017, aided by the ongoing support of surgeons, cardiologists, nurses, technical staff, and anti-rejection drugs, among others. It bears stating, also firmly, that the love of family, friends, even strangers is a superb restorative treatment.
Apart from better appreciating my own condition and treatment, this year has given amazing insights into the challenges of others with heart conditions, especially young children, and the treatments that are available, especially the committed care of healthcare professionals in both the public and private sectors.
Most times I keep my act together. And I have done very well, muddling through the past few weeks. Then it finally happened. It hit me, I’d got to this most sentimental of seasons – for me, at least – again. Yes, of course it’s the religious sentiment. But it’s also the social, the family, the political. It’s about summer and winter. It’s about slowing down and about getting busy. It’s about the end of… and a beginning… of something, anything. It’s about everything, the whole caboodle.
I was at a tipping point. Here, alive, very alive and very happy, yet balling my eyes out! I guess I’m thinking of all those who are struggling in the way I have struggled to live, two guys in particular I know in Cape Town are waiting for donor hearts right now. For someone to live, someone else …. Of course I think of those who haven’t made it to this point.
Aware of other struggles, covering the whole gamut from the personal to the social, the mental, economic, environmental.
So, sentiment must take hold, offering opportunities to re-group, re-calibrate. No midnight mass tonight. But I will finish watching The Shawshank Redemption, another annual ritual at this time. There will be some rich-in-taste beverage (only one compared to 10 years ago) before I head to the kitchen to prepare the meat for tomorrow’s meal. And appreciation of loved ones, near and far, in spirit all the time.
Regardless of how you may mark the festive season, may you and your loved ones have a wonderful, relaxing, holiday.