It was a truly beautiful morning. A fresh and uncommon snowfall blanketed the city of Vancouver making this day special and memorable. Indeed, for someone who loves snow, this rare occurrence was just another sign of the transformation that was about to take place.
After years of struggle to stay alive, a kidney transplant was the final juncture which would close this chapter and start anew. This ultimate gift of life, which I never expected to receive, let alone felt worthy of receiving, came from a stranger, a fellow human being and hero. No, not a hero as in the movies. I am talking about a real hero in real life!
Every year for the last 13 years I have struggled to find the right words to express my gratitude and awe. I am well aware that there are no good choices here. There is no way to say an adequate thank you to someone who saved your life without a word, demand or even public notability. It is beyond human comprehension to explain such an act, so I stopped. I no longer seek an explanation.
There is only one way to be thankful and it is by being. Just being who I am and who I have always wanted to be. To take this second birth and turn it into a new life—one without excuses or regrets. But one with honesty, openness and human connection. One with laughs and tears. One with hard but meaningful work and calm but deepening rest. No, it is not going to be perfect or noble. After all, I am only human.
This humanity, paired with a new chance to be, to act, to pursue, to love is a gift on its own. Today as I kiss my wife, hug my son and raise my camera to my eye, I pursue just that. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is without equal and the most honest thank you I can offer.