Thanks in the Season of Giving

Christmas is often known as the season for giving but I am also endeavoring to be thankful. As we near upon Christmas Day, I am coming upon another very important date within the next week: my daughter’s birthday. On the 19th, my daughter will be one year old. This time last year, I was preparing to be induced, preeclampsic, on bed rest, and growing very nervous. I had never been hospitalized before, not since my own premature birth, so this was completely unknown territory for me. By the end of the day, after laboring for fifteen hours, two of those spent pushing, it was decided that I was to go in for an emergency c-section. An hour later, I held my daughter in weak, trembling arms.

As I look at Elizabeth now, toddling and babbling, smiling and clapping, I am incredibly thankful – for her and to have her in my life. I am thankful for the expertise of the doctors who took care of us that night and the nurses who did so the rest of the week afterward, and for the patience and strength of my husband who was at my side the whole time. I realize that, without them, I might not be here, might not have the blessing of holding my daughter in my arms each day, might not even be here to do so. There is no way for me to say just how thankful I am, as I know how fortunate I am.

The other day, I was contacted by Heather Von St. James, a wonderful woman, and I’d like to share some of her story with you in her own words:

In 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to my beautiful daughter Lily Rose, I was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Upon learning of this life-altering diagnosis, my husband Cameron and I embarked upon a search to find the best mesothelioma treatment care available. Our search eventually led us to Dr. David Sugarbaker, a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston based Brigham and Women’s hospital.

Today, I am a seven-year mesothelioma cancer survivor and have made it my mission to help other mesothelioma victims around the globe. I share my personal story to help spread hope and awareness for others going through this, in hopes that one day no one else will have to.  If having cancer has taught me anything, it’s the value of life and the value of gratitude. My diagnosis was in November, and every year during the holiday season, I am reminded of this difficult time. Therefore, I have set out to acknowledge something in my life that I am thankful for every day throughout the month of December.

– See more at:

This Christmas and every day, be thankful for the wonderful things in your life. I know that I am. And thank you for your courage and inspiration, Heather.


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