February 25th, 2014

An Open Letter to My Dying Lungs

Dear Lungs ~

I am SO sorry for what you are going through. You have worked SO hard and SO long to get to where you are, and I hate that you are suffering now. To be honest, I can't believe we've made it this far together.

You have been my constant worry since you first started having problems. Back in the "good 'ol days" it was easier to bounce back into action after a setback, but as the two of us have aged, things are a bit more complicated than they used to be. To know that you are in constant pain and that every day is a challenge really hurts me to my core. I just want you to know one thing though: I will be with you every step of the way.

We have had many, many years of wonderful experiences, like when we used to play volleyball and basketball, or when we would go for super long bike rides around Sioux Falls as kids. Swimming at the Y or those hot summer days when we went to the local pool. Or even those days when we would take a run just after a rain shower, just to smell the freshly rinsed world around us.

Let us not forget the beautiful sounds you used to help me make when we could sing, and the people who's lives you've touched by doing so. We were able to comfort the ones we love when they needed it and that is something you cannot put a price on.

Now, I know that I haven't always been a good friend, and for that I am deeply sorry. There were times when I was completely selfish and intentionally put you in harm's way just to follow my own agenda. There were times when I didn't hold up my end of the deal, or do everything within my power to help you. I ignored your pleas until the absolute last minute and I often let you get so sick that drastic measures had to be taken. I've even gotten mad at you and blamed you for our situation, as if there was anything you could do about it. These things have left you scarred by our shared experiences. I truly apologize for being a selfish child and a rebellious teenager.

It might seem like too little too late, but I want you to know that when my maturity finally caught up with me, and the gravity of the situation finally made sense, I went out of my way for you. I did everything within my power to help you when you got sick, and to attempt to keep you from getting that way. I even packed myself up and left the comfort of home, everyone and everything I knew, to travel to the other side of the country and the Great Unknown just so that you might get a chance to stay with me longer. I am grateful and SO thankful that my plan has worked for as long as it has.

I know that every single day presents new (and old) issues, but there is nothing to fear. I know that this burden has become cumbersome, but the two of us are stronger because of it.

You have taught me many things throughout the years. I guess the biggest thing would be to never take a breath for granted, because the next one may not come so easy or without a price. I feel that because of your struggle, I am a stronger person. Through all of your adversity, I have benefited in ways that most would not be able to see or even comprehend. You have shown me what a true "warrior" is and how the human spirit can embody the essence of strength and perseverance.

We've had a few scares here and there, but I don't want you to worry. I want you to focus on doing what you need to do, and leave the really hard stuff to me.

Our time together has been invaluable. I cannot express my gratitude for the things that you have helped me achieve in this life. It saddens me deeply to see you go, but I know that there is no other option. You have put on such a brave face for so long, people would scarcely believe me if I told them everything you and I have been through. I want you to rest now, my friend. The end is almost near and your work is almost done.

Thank you for beating the odds we were given at birth. Thank you for showing me (and the rest of the world) the type of person I am capable of being and becoming, and the type of life that can be led despite those odds. Most of all, thank you for living this life with me.

Your most grateful friend,
~Eyva