I'm Grateful for 2017 | My Instruction Manual

I’m Grateful for 2017

I wasn’t a big fan of 2016. But I’m grateful for 2017.

2016 was the year I learned my kidneys would soon fail and I began to feel sick and tired and scared. My son Bryson’s seizures seemed to be getting worse. And the year seemed to be full of hate and death, including the demise of the only princess I ever cared about.

Princess Leia
Yep, that princess.

But honestly, 2017 was SO MUCH BETTER for me.

The main reason was that my little sister donated a kidney to me, giving me a second chance at life. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for what she did.

Each month, I pause to remember the gift and reflect on the things I’m grateful for in my life. For those keeping score — and you know I am — I’m now eight months post-transplant and feel one thousand times better than I did a year ago.

(Side note: I’m grateful that I finally figured out an easier way to do an emdash (long dash) in WordPress. It’s three hypens in a row. They don’t convert until you preview the page or publish.)


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I’m grateful for 2017 because Bryson got on some new anti-seizure meds that seem to be helping. His seizures are still far to frequent, far too long and far too violent, but they’re better than last year and that gives me hope.

I’m grateful for 2017 because my son Connor began high school and seems to be doing well. Tonight I get to see him in the high school musical production of The Adams Family.

I’m grateful for 2017 because every minute Laura is my wife is a blessing, and this year I had I five-hundred-twenty-five-thousand-six-hundred of them. (Thanks Rent!)

I’m grateful for 2017 because the people that I care about mostly stayed healthy and my mom made it through her knee surgery.

I’m grateful for 2017 because the forces of goodness are rising up against the forces of hate as witnessed through important events like the #MeToo movement and the result of the special election in Alabama.

And I’m grateful because I get to see my princess’s last stand this weekend in The Last Jedi.

I know there was a lot of bad stuff in 2017 — the death of my cousin Alex and my aunt Melanie as well as the horrifying events in Charlottesville come to mind.

But while last year I literally held up my middle finger and cursed at 2016 as I counted down on New Year’s Eve, this year I will be able to say thanks for the blessings.

What about you? How was your 2017?

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  1. Great post, Keith. I’m happy that you’ve had a much better year this year. 2017 has been a tumultuous year for me with a of a lot of change, but the end result has been positive and progressive, which I’m very grateful for. šŸ™‚

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