1 Year

It's been a year.
It's been a year with no complications!

1 year ago today I looked like this.

I remember feeling Cliff's presence and his kiss but I could not open my eyes. Best I can describe the back of my neck and shoulders down to my mid back felt like sheet metal. I remember the rolling of the bed into the ICU and hearing a man say, "we had a hard time waking her up so we've not given her any pain meds yet." As soon as the words left his lips...no pain meds--- I felt the worst pain of my life to date. It quaked through my entire body in waves of terror. I knew two things in that moment, 1. the surgery that I had waited so long for had happened and I felt hopeful for the first time in a long time. 2. I knew it was going to be very long road to recovery and I understood how people can wish for death because of the pain.

It may seem odd that I have photos of myself during this time but it was so important to me. I believe in documenting life. I believe in remembering where you've been so that you can be where you are today. 2008 was easily the year that changed my life. A year ago today I went into surgery to remove the scar tissue from my trachea that was making it impossible to breathe. A year later my life has come full circle. My job is about breathing. Breathing life into a space that invites a community to come and do yoga, to come and experience breath with movement.

I practiced yoga on Monday night at the 7:30 class and then again yesterday morning at 9:30. As I laid in my final relaxation all sweaty and surrendering it really hit me that tomorrow (today) is the big day. As I thought about it more and more tears rolled steadily from the corners of my eyes toward my ears in streams of sheer gratitude and awe. It has been year! It has been a YEAR of breath. I can honestly say that I've not taken a single breath for granted. I think about it everyday many times a day. It grounds me. It reminds me that life is precious and that I am stronger than I realize.

Isn't it ironic that having something cut out of you can make you whole again?

I think I might just cry all day off and on, yeah I can't help it. It's a huge day and I am so thankful to be here and breathing.