Every year, I celebrate January 9.
January 9, 2015, was one of the happiest days of my whole life.
Back then, I wrote this piece about why January 9 was one of the happiest days of my life, and I re-post it every year, to commemorate the occasion. So here it is...
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.