A day I would always look forward to with dread is now a happy occasion. Four times a year I would check in with my primary where he he would lift me up and put me on a glass slide and wonder what his microscope would reveal. All in my head of course. A four hundred pound body has an equally large head filled with illusions. I now have gone from not being able to sleep without sleep apnea equipment to not being able to sleep with it. Now it sits gathering dust by my bed. High blood pressure has given way to low blood pressure and the gradually withdrawal of blood pressure medication. My feet are barely swollen and my knees don't scream at me when I walk. Another ten months and I will be 200 lbs-half my old weight. I have completed half the journey. I once wrote a book called "The Unexpected Day" and that is how I look at the future now. Six months ago all my days were expected as my world got smaller as I got bigger--less and less things I could do, but observe a set- in- stone decline of expected days. No new mystery or surprise-at least a good surprise.
I recounted a fable at a meeting the other day once told by Abdu'l-Baha. A servant was working in an orchard for a wealthy and powerful landowner. The landowner rode by on his horse surveying his vast lands. Despite the difference in their social positions the two men were life long close friends. The landowner stopped and smiled at his hardworking servant who was sweating in the afternoon sun. He picked an apple off the tree and implored the servant to take a rest and take a bite of the apple . The servant's face beamed with pleasure and declared the apple was sweetness itself. The land owner then took a bite out of the same apple and spit it out and said, "My friend, this apple is unpleasantly bitter. Why did you tell me that this apple is sweet?
The servant replied, "All my life our friendship has given me nothing but sweetness. How good I ever mention one fleeting moment of unpleasantness."
I told the group that I have been given a great gift. I know I will have days when events cause me sadness, but those moments pale in comparison to the magnitude of the gift and the majesty of the Giver of gifts and are not worth mentioning.