Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

November 27, 2014

Grateful to Feel Thankful

Historically, the holiday season has always been what carolers suggest - the most wonderful time of the year. It's always been a time of travel to be with family, becoming an absolute glutton, gift shopping while sipping on Starbucks' artificially-flavored latte of the season, and attending holiday parties adorned in the glitziest of dresses every weekend. 

I was in deep thought this week during my infusion. I didn't get much work done; just stared out the window fixated, and in a way, fascinated, on how much has changed since last Thanksgiving...

I was 24, healthy (with some extra pounds too!), and in retrospect, so naive. When I think about it, aside from the cookie-cutter bundle of thanks, what was I really thankful for? Don't get me wrong, these are very important to be be grateful for (family, friends, job, good health, etc.) but was that as profound as it got? Yes, it was. Frankly, I was thankful to be wearing Burberry at Thanksgiving dinner. Embarrassing yet accurate. 





It's unfair to say that I was spoiled because I've worked for the little that I have. But, it's so easy to get sucked into this whirlpool of materialism our society promotes that ultimately outweighs what's actually important. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you you choose to look at it, I would've never reached my current mindset if it weren't for my health today. 

As twisted as it may sound, I feel enlightened to be in the place I'm in now. Though my situation isn't ideal and I've had to make a lot of sacrifices (including SBUX lattes) I believe I've gained some perspective. I'm able to appreciate little luxuries that are sometimes never acknowledged. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I'm truly grateful for being able to feel thankful. 

While it's important to be grateful every day, this year I'm especially thankful to have access to modern medicine and to be living in one of the medical hubs of the world. I'm thankful for the strength and resilience that I never knew I had. I'm thankful for growing up and waking up. I feel lucky knowing that I now have a new purpose in life. 

I hope you all have a joyous Thanksgiving with your loved ones - I'll be eating vicariously through all of your snaps on social media so keep em' comin! 
<3 Flower

1 comment:

  1. i have followed your efforts via the devic's family facebook account. i am the mother of a 26 year old son who was diagnosed with NMO in june of this year and who is now legally blind and though the attack is contained the residual effects have resulted in a daily life of pains and intense discomforts. he is finally off steroids, which was very difficult. i have followed the devic's/ nmo boards for all these months as part of my efforts to educate myself about this very complex and varied disease.
    i laud your efforts to launch a non-profit organization devoted to nmo. however, i feel that your goals overlap too much with the guthy-jackson foundation, which has done and is doing the driving effort in research and treatment and has managed to put together the truly top experts in this disorder. i think you would do better finding a niche for your foundation that is NOT covered by the guthy jackson foundation and so to speak split the pie. let me be frank: if i wanted to support research and development i would not fund your foundation but the guthy-jackson. from being on the boards and following the threads i feel, however, that there are aspects of NMO that noone truly supports in a systematic and clever fashion; apects of the disease which are outside of the realm of research and treatment development and which relate to the management of this chronic illness. this email is by no means a criticism; and if you feel i overstepped my boundaries then i apologize in advance. however, if you are interested in my ideas then i would be more than happy to chat with you. i think that how you frame your mission at the very onset will determine the success of your foundation. if you are interested you can email me at uvschwartz@gmail.com

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