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May 11 was beautiful here in Tennessee. The weather was sunny and warm, and the day was fairly predictable, in a wonderful sort of way: cookies were baked and dishes were washed; a neighbor’s kids stopped by for a few hours, and we enjoyed dinner and a family game night. The last of the homeschool lessons were finished up, and summer break danced tantalizingly on the next week’s calendar page, along with dance rehearsals and slumber parties and orthodontist appointments.

All day long I hugged a little secret to myself, trying to make the most of May 11 without granting it any special attention. It was a day that cried out to be noticed, but a day I hoped would blend into the others around it, on its way to becoming ordinary. One year ago that day — on May 11, 2011 — a medical error almost took my life. On May 11, 2011, my heart stopped and started again, fast and furious and broken. And with it sped away my sense of security and trust in the safe places, and in rushed a year of hurting and healing, searching and finding, a year of so much pain and so much more beauty.

I didn’t mention May 11 to anyone until it was over. Didn’t point it out or raise a banner that said “I SURVIVED” precisely because I did survive, because all those days in between May 11, 2011, and now are the real story. I didn’t blog or reflect or reminisce with others. Instead I prayed and said thank you, as I do every day, and I went on with the business of making the most of this gift of another day with my loved ones.

I love to share ideas about cooking and crafting, about what I’m reading and thinking, and hopefully I make somebody smile along the way. But May 11 reminded me again of what this blog is really all about: creating today and making it matter — not because it’s pretty and perfect, but because it’s here and its ours. I celebrate May 11 because it was another perfectly ordinary day, and I’m so thankful for every single one of them.