I have received many very warm and very celebratory emails and comments regarding my 35th birthday. Because my mother's "write a thank you note" lessons did not stick, I tend to be very slow and disorganized about responding to such wonderful well wishes.
I want to sincerely thank, from the bottom of my being, everyone who sent me Happy Birthday wishes. It is the people in my life that make 35 so amazing (that and the not being dead part). So, thank you thank you thank you for being a part of my life and for being kind enough to care that this old gal just racked up another year of living.
I have added the picture of the Butterfly Girl because it couldn't express how I feel more if I had drawn it myself. (I bought it off of istockphoto.com--very cool site) Butterflies are the symbol of lung transplant for a good reason--we spend years locked inside our illness cocoons, waiting for the day we can fly. When the donor lungs come along, we begin the slow process of breaking through that cocoon and, when we do, we have emerged transformed. For the first time in my life, I could really fly. Today, I am the Butterfly Girl with arms extended to the heavens with gratitude and overwhelming joy. I am flying freely and often now and I am so happy you are with me on this leg of the journey.