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 A friend of mine entered the new year in spectacular fashion.  After waiting months for a donor, he received a heart transplant at Cleveland Clinic a couple days before Christmas.  When I talked with him on the phone less than two weeks later, his voice was so full of vitality and enthusiasm, it brought tears to my eyes.  It seemed miraculous.

I once saw a documentary in which a middle aged woman received an aural implant that allowed her to hear for the first time since she became deaf due to an illness when she was a teenager.  I’ll never forget her ecstatic flood of tears when she perceived the first sound through her earphones. 

Every morning we open our eyes to a new day.  We hear the sounds of people and things we love.  We breath in and breath out.  Our lives, at once mundane and miraculous, are renewed day by day.  Yet, even someone like me, who had open heart surgery two decades ago, can often forget what a gift each heartbeat is, what pleasure our senses give us.  That’s just the way it is. 

Today, though, I’m relishing the thought of my friend with a new heart, of that woman with her restored gift of hearing and of myself with twenty added years of life (and counting). It might have been otherwise.

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