Let's Make Thanksgiving Last a Little Longer!

November, for whatever reason, is the month for saying “THANKS." I would think December would be the better month to say thanks, since that is when all the gift giving occurs. Perhaps we say "thanks" in November as a preview of what's to come in December. Ask the Pilgrims - they got this whole thing started back in 1620. According to the history books, about 100 pilgrims from England ventured over here to what is now America aboard a ship called the Mayflower. It arrived at Plymouth Harbor at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Had they arrived in September, well…you get the point.

Along this line of thinking, it was eleven years ago this month when I received my three transplants (heart, kidney and pancreas) via the extraordinary act of #organdonation. I celebrated those particular Thanksgivings with a special level of gratitude knowing that without those lifesaving transplants, I would not be writing this post today. Each year, I communicate my thanks to my donor family whose son was killed in a tragic auto accident. Without his gifts and without transplantation itself (a miracle of modern medicine!), I would be just another statistic of mortality, due to #type1diabetes. Instead, I am my own statistic of how many have survived a triple organ #transplant. When people ask me for that statistic of my life expectancy, I say, "There is none, I'm it.” I often stand in absolute wonder of how lucky one can be, how lucky I was.

So be it for the Pilgrims of days gone by, or for me, transplants of more recent days, there is always a reason to have #gratitude. The calendar should not dictate when we should feel it or express it. These days to celebrate together, to gather as families, they are precious to us in every way. Perhaps you prefer the taste of turkey and all the fixings or watching an endless amount of football games. Long past the turkey, keep a little more gratitude in your life. It will keep you warm and fill you up in ways that even the best drumstick cannot.