On this, my 25th Birthday, there is no other way I can think to celebrate than to express my gratitude for the people and things that have helped me get to this age. Those people and things that have showered blessings upon blessing on me. Here is my Gratitude List. One thing for every year of my life. They are not listed by number because these things cannot be ranked.
* I am grateful to my Mom and Dad for giving me life, for bringing me up in love and always being there to lift me up with advice, a smile and a hug.
* I am grateful for my sister and brother who have been best friends, worst enemies, partners in crime and always always there by my side.
* I am grateful for my husband: a strong, loving man who stood the test of "for better or worse, for richer or poorer and in sickness and in health' even before we stood up to take those vows.
* I am grateful for my Nan for her strong and steadfast love, wise advice and generous heart.
* I am grateful to my Aunts and Uncles for their love, support, prayers, hilarious cards and generosity.
* I am grateful for my cousins, first and extended, for their kinship, love, warm facebook posts, talent and ties that bind.
* I am grateful for the generations of Slavins and Romans who have come before, some I've known and many I've not had the chance to be blessed with, their gifts swell in my veins.
* I am grateful for my donor, who selflessly endured a painful procedure for a girl he doesn't know, simply so that I may have a second chance at life.
* I am grateful for my Mother, Father and Brother-in-Law for accepting me into their family and treating me like their own daughter, with love and unending kindness.
* I am grateful for the rest of the extended Esposto family (all sur names included) for the laughs, the love, the friendship and the feeling of togetherness.
* I am grateful to my coworkers who have become dear friends, some like family, for their generosity in time, resources, shoulders to cry and laugh on during the tough days and for the piles of cards that never fail to brighten my day.
* I am grateful for my yoga teacher and kula who have become so much more than that, so much more than just friends. You are part of my spirit and heart and you feed the lifeblood within and keep me humble.
*I am grateful for old friends (especially that special 15 year marathon BFF) who have grown into my heart like a tree grows roots into the earth and who have provided more good advice and good times than anyone deserves.
* I am grateful for new friends who have walked into my life with bright smiles and open hearts and the promise of years to come.
* I am grateful for lost friends, those who have taught so much about friendship and self and communication.
* I am grateful for the friends I barely know, those who read this blog and comment with love and support, you reach out in the same way as friends of decades and teach humility.
* I am grateful to my doctors and nurses for their expert and compassionate care.
* I am grateful for the scientists and researchers who pioneered the drugs, equipment and techniques that keep me alive.
* I am grateful for the patients who have come before me, those that pushed for better care, more answers and those whose lives taught those doctors and nurses and researchers valuable information so that I may benefit someday.
* I am grateful for the sun that shines through my window, and on glorious days of freedom on my face, for the rain that washes the air, for the wind that cools the heat, for the clouds that speckle the sky and give us something beautiful to look at.
* I am grateful for the three embryos sitting in deep freeze back in PA, waiting to someday enter this world in more love than they will ever understand.
* I am grateful for the practice, the thousands of years old practice, the newer principles, the teachings of sages and the words of current gurus and teachers who have built a foundation for me to rebuild a life and a cushion to fall back on.
* I am grateful for my students, all of my students, who have taught the innocence and wisdom of childhood and who have given uplifting hugs (even when they shouldn't) and some of the best cards I've ever seen. Miss you guys.
* I am grateful for every single card, note, e-mail, package, facebook post, video, text message, voicemail, phone call that has poured in over the last few weeks and indeed, the last two years.
* I am grateful for a doctor who was willing to drive to a lab late on a Christmas Eve two years ago to make sure that I would be able to spend a holiday with my family and who made sure I got an appointment here.
*I am grateful for the life in me. May I never, ever take it for granted.