Good Morning Friends, Family, Strangers,
I’d like you to visualize an expansive thanksgiving table, the plush cushioned seats are packed with dear friends, family, acquaintances and a sea of other individuals that have at some moment touched your life. The fine china stacked high with delicious golden turkey, casserole dishes filled with sides stealing all the colors of autumn, and a giant carafe of warm, thick, gravy. A picturesque scene that will surely get you salivating, yet, all of these items are absent ...
from today’s table top….. instead your life memories are on display. A floating globe of energy with each memory sliced into the globe like a wedge. Spinning the globe you see that it contains your fondest moments, embarrassing slipups, fits of rage, and even the events where your heart ached so badly you thought you would never recover… but you did, and if it was recent… you will.
As most people are engrossed in peaking in on times long passed, pointing, laughing and crying with their neighbor seated next to them, my focus is locked in on something entirely different. The globe that sits in front of each and every individual at the table is the exact same size…. The globe that floats in front of my niece is the same size as my very own, and somehow my globe is the same size as my grandmothers. How can a eight year old’s globe of memories be the same as a twenty nine year old's? If you look closer you can notice a trend, the older the individual gets the smaller each wedge of memory becomes…
I think every one of you reading this blog at some point or another has noticed that as you grow older, time seemingly moves faster. The same long lasting summer months experienced as a middle school students pass by with a blink of an eye today (which is a common complaint for us New Englanders.) But how can that be? The sun rises and falls at the same pace it did twenty nine years ago right? Then why does time move faster for me now than it did then? The answer… The summer months I had as a child lasted longer because relative to my life experience they made up a much larger portion of it than they do today. Three months of memories out of five years of life experience is huge chunk of time compared to three months out of twenty nine years, or seventy years. The reason everyone's globe is the same size is because relative to our memories our lives are all the same size… and that size is ONE. Twenty nine years of memories divided into twenty nine years of living is still the same one you would get when comparing a five year old's five years of memories with five years of living.
You see, we only live once, so this Thanksgiving be grateful for all the memories you have regardless of how happy or painful they may be, because they make you the wonderful person you are today, because you got to experience something someone else did not have the chance to. Forgive those who you may not think deserve to be forgiven, because they only live once too.
I’ve never done this before and I used to try schmooze my way out of it as a kid, but I’d like to volunteer to say grace. This is not my own saying, but instead a favorite quote of mine by a very influential person of our time and I think can be enjoyed and followed regardless of your religion:
“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
BE KIND ANYWAY.
If you are successful, you win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
BE HAPPY ANYWAY.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
DO GOOD ANYWAY.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU HAVE ANYWAY.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and god;
IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM ANYWAY. “
– Mother Teresa
Much Love – Teej
p.s. Here is a quick update on my health:
I visited Mass General yesterday for my pre-op meeting. Due to an increasing pain in my lower right side they performed blood tests and a CT scan on my abdomen. The consensus was that I could possibly need a drain inserted to release a backup of blood or bile in my body caused by Liver resection in October. If the drain was inserted it would postpone my surgery date. This morning I found out that not only did my CT Scan come back clean allowing me to proceed with surgery as scheduled, but my blood work came back great. The most exciting news of it all? Remember the Carcinogenic Antigen (CEA) tumor marker in my blood… Well at the time of my diagnosis on July 13th the CEA level was 295.5, after a few cycles of chemo in early september it dropped “like a stone” to 171.0, and after the sixth cycle of chemotherapy it fell all the way down to a CEA level of 61. Well, I am happy to report after my most recent successful liver surgery this passed month and the blood test performed yesterday that my Carcinogenic Antigen Level is all the way down to only 1.6… which is normal. =-P
As for surgery. I am scheduled for a Laparoscopic Colin Resection on Wednesday the 23, with a arrival time of 7:30 am and operation time of 9:30am. They will remove a mass that is approximately 15 cm inside my rectum along with about 10 cm of colon surrounding it. They will shift my colon downwards from above and reattach it to the rectum, assuming there is no scar tissue interference from my last surgery. If all goes as planned the surgery should last around 3 hours and I should be in the hospital for about 4-5 days to recover. Laparoscopic surgery is preferred to open surgery because it is usually a quicker and less painful recovery time, so hopefully everything stays as planned. =-P All great news and a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
p.p.s. For those of you who did not did not hear. What I am most grateful for this thanksgiving is my beautiful and lovingfiance Amanda saying “yes” when I asked her to marry me Sunday night on the steps of the Boston Public Library (where we met.) I love you so much Amanda, you truly are everything I ever wanted, I cherish every memory we have made and I promise to continue to do so as we grow old together.