It’s during the holidays that we realize and contemplate what we are thankful for. But that made me think of something, shouldn't we always be thankful for something no matter what day it is? We are so blessed to live in a free country and to have food on our tables every night. That’s a given. But what I’m thankful for this year, stems from something else entirely. I’m thankful that I have hydrocephalus but also that I’m still here to reap the benefits that it has shown me do exist. I’m thankful for the journey hydrocephalus has allowed me to walk, for I don’t know where I would be in my life without it. I know I wouldn't be as compassionate or as thankful for everything I have, because I know what it’s like to not have it. I said this in my last post but it’s really true- if I could sum up hydrocephalus in one word it would be thankful. Because however painful the condition is and however many surgeries I will have had by the end of my life, I know that I wouldn't be who I am without them, Hydrocephalus took some of the most crucial years in terms of "finding yourself" away from me and molded me and shaped me into the person I am today. But we cannot ignore the truth; Yes the facts are the facts: I've gone through a lot. Some doctors say I shouldn't be standing here today. But I am, and so I feel that it’s my job to live out the meaning of what it is to be truly thankful because I know what it’s like to not be able to walk, or talk or to spend holidays with loved ones at home. It has all been the most humbling experience I've ever gone through in my entire life. I’m not trying to say, I was a spoiled kid who got whatever she wanted, but I’ll be honest. I never really knew what it was like to “truly struggle” until I got sick. And this allowed me to walk in those shoes. But it’s almost as if I said as I was getting better and returning to normal life, “Yes this is hard, but when I do get through it, I end up a more mature, smarter, version of myself, so maybe I won’t take these shoes off. Although things have not gone the way I wanted, I can’t say I could go back I would change them, if I could.
So this holiday season as we celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving and the birth of the blessed Jesus Christ, I challenge you, my readers to notice the things you wouldn't and to be ever so thankful for them. Something as simple as noticing how your arm falls after you’re done scratching an itch, or how you can run to hug your loved ones as they all pile into your house for the holiday meal. I might get down that I have hydrocephalus more than I would like to admit and I know I take this back every time I have to have another surgery, but honestly, I wouldn't change it, the things that it has taught me have given me immeasurable courage and grace. I remember when I was in the hospital this past time, I was so sick, and we couldn't figure out why, and I actually told my mom that I wanted to die. And then just like that, I had a whisper in my ear, and that whisper said, “It’s not your time Kimi. I will help you through this, I promise you are not alone”. I think it was my guardian angel. And she fulfilled her promise. She didn't take my pain away because she knew that it was meant for greater things such as teaching me, but she made sure I didn't go through it alone. And I can’t explain the feelings I had after that night. Even though I couldn't see her, I know that my angel was in my room all month. She was there watching me while I had to get my incision sewn up in my room with no medicine, she was in the neurology team that was watching over me in ICU where I was having seizures, and she was there in my surgeons’ hands when I needed the second surgery, and she was there with me on the second to last night I was there, when I crumbled into a pile of tears when my parents left the room. She was there every step of the way, and even though she couldn't stop bad things from happening, she was there to make sure that I was ultimately OK.
I think there's a lot to be said about the fact that I never figure these things out until after they happen. I think this is because my soul knows that this is going to make me a better person, and I said a long time ago, I don't care what I need to go through during this lifetime with hydrocephalus just as long as it turns me into a better person; because no one's perfect. There's always room for improvement, and I think this is mine. This is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. I’m thankful that I am here and healthy, I’m thankful for every sleepless night I had at U of C that had me up and awake contemplating everything because those nights are what brought me here, and made me not hate hydro, but be thankful for it, and I am thankful for my guardian angel. She’s awesome!
So to sum it up, I’m just thankful……..for everything I have and everything I will have tangible or not.