Today Is the One-Year Anniversary of the Happiest Day of My Life. Here’s Why.

Actually, the one-year anniversary of the happiest day of my life happened over the weekend, so I waited until today to re-post this post from last year.


Assay: Today is one of the very happiest days of my life.

I was happy when my two daughters were born, but having a baby is such a tremendous new responsibility; I was extremely happy, but also awestruck and slightly terrified.

I was happy on my wedding day, but I was also worried about how the whole day would unfold. For instance, strangely, I was very concerned that my veil might fall off as I was going down the aisle.


Today, though, I’m purely, absolutely happy.

In The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I write about the fact that my husband got hepatitis C from a blood transfusion during a heart operation, when he was eight years old. You really don’t want to have hepatitis C; eventually, it destroys your liver. My husband tried many treatments over the years, but nothing worked.

I’ve so appreciated the thoughtfulness of readers who have emailed me to make sure that we knew about possible new treatments, or to send along their good wishes for my husband’s health. Last year, a new treatment was approved, and my husband went on it right away.

As of this morning, he has been declared CURED A few hours ago, we got the email from his extraordinary doctor, Dr. Leona Kim-Schluger. He is now free from the virus. It’s over.

I am so, so happy, and grateful, and relieved, and thrilled. I can’t really put it into words.

And yet there’s something more I want to say.

I love children’s literature, and at this minute, I’m reminded of a scene from one of my favorite books, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

It’s Meg’s wedding day, and she and Laurie start talking about drinking wine. Laurie explains, “I don’t care for it; but when a pretty girl offers it, one doesn’t like to refuse, you see.”

Meg answers, “But you will, for the sake of others, if not for your own. Come, Laurie, promise, and give me one more reason to call this the happiest day of my life.”

And in that spirit, my dear readers, out of the fullness of my heart, let me ask something of you, so I have one more reason to call this the happiest day of my life.

If you support organ donation, take a moment to take a step to show people how you feel — there are a lot of ways to do it. Sign the donor registry. Tell your friends and family that you’d want to donate your organs. Post a message on social media with the hashtag #organdonor.

It’s a rare privilege, granted to very few of us, to die in a way that permits us to donate our organs, and in a time of sorrow and shock, the people around you might not know what you would’ve wanted. Let them know, now, if you would want to be an organ donor. Over the last many years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my husband’s liver, and I’m very glad that he gets to keep the one he was born with. But things might not have turned out this way.

Tears are running down my face…I’m beside myself with joy! I hardly know what to do with myself. What do you do on one of the happiest days of your life? I think I’ll go buy his favorite dessert: a pralines’n’cream ice cream cake.


Since I posted this, I’ve been thrilled by how many people let me know that they’d signed up to be organ donors. It’s so important, it makes me so happy to hear that.

  • What a beautiful post (and I adore that Alcott quote). We are huge supporters of organ donation as a family – such an important thing to do.

    • gretchenrubin

      Terrific! that’s so great to hear.

  • HEHink

    Gretchen, I believe it was in The Happiness Project that you mentioned something about how you hoped that deliberately practicing happiness would prove to be helpful in future difficult times. After reading this post a year ago, I have often wondered if you have felt the opposite to be true as well – that your mindfulness of what makes you happy, and your habits to promote happiness, also set you up to experience extra-happy times like this one with a greater, and deeper sense of joy. I guess I’m thinking that maybe when we clear out things from our lives that make us unhappy, it makes more room for the feeling of happiness in our lives. And maybe when we’re frequently aware of smaller things that make us happy, we’re even more open to experience big happy events as incredibly amazing! (As this event truly is, even a year later!)

    • gretchenrubin

      So true!

  • You know what, I remember that day! I tweeted you and you answered (which by the way felt so cool). I was reading The Happiness Project before and after this. Even yesterday, I was taking notes on the book. Whenever you mention the disease makes me smile now, because I know it’s over and this awful fear is gone for good. I’m really happy for you guys and I hope many people are as relieve as you are now.

    • gretchenrubin

      Thank you!

  • Sarah Corbett Morgan

    How VERY cool, Gretchen! That is such good news. My son was declared cured about 17 years ago, He gave himself ribaviron and interferon shots every day for a year! But he has been clear ever since. HOOAH. Bless the University of Washington for their study and congratulations and big hug to your husband.

  • Maryeliz S-S

    Wow! That’s wonderful news! I’ve worried about him/your family each time you mentioned his hepatitis C in your books. I can see why this is the anniversary of your happiest day. What a weight lifted. I’m delighted for you all. Warm congratulations.

    • gretchenrubin