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I'm celebrating my own miracle this Christmas; SISTER'S RECOVERY IS BEST PRESENT EVER.

Byline: Elaine C. Smith

ALL too often in the rush to get everything done we forget what life is really about.

We lose sight of what matters as we dash to get the last bits and pieces...the food and "wee mindings" for everyone from the paper boy to the wee wummin you say hi to in Tesco.

We get obsessed with getting it done...then collapse on Christmas day thinking, 'was that it?'.

Not that I don't enjoy all the buzz - I am not of the bah humbug school. But this year, I am taking a deep breath and trying to count my blessings.

The last few Christmases have been pretty hard for our family and I know we are not alone so I'm not having a dose of the "poor me's".

Everyone has their troubles, losses and illness and we have to get through it as best we can.

Last Christmas was like a bad dream. Instead of the usual family gathering, we were in and out of the transplant unit at the Royal Infirmary.

My sister Di was gravely ill and every day we went from hope to despair. At times we were afraid to hope. What right did we have when so many others were in worse situations? We were lucky in that my other sister was a donor match but Di's life was in the hands of an amazing team of doctors and scientists who worked round the clock to keep her alive.

So this Christmas we have our own miracle...cos my wee sis and her family will be sitting at our table.

Di's recovery has been long and hard but to see her back at her work and out Christmas shopping is just wonderful. The whole experience has made me more appreciative of what really matters in life and my love and thoughts go out to all the people not having a great time through illness or loss.

None of us know what is around the corner and all the stuff our grannies told us turns out to be right - enjoy life while you can and count your blessings.

I'm certainly going to try.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 23, 2007
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