One of the things I started to think about as I started to reflect more on sickle cell anemia and how to live with it, is how we measure success.
In a world where we all live by different value systems, everyone measures success in different ways - money, possessions, career success, family happiness, or fame and fortune.
For a sickler, life's greatest success is life itself.
The greatest measure of success for a sickler is one's own life - the fact that one is still alive.
Sickle cell anemia is a disease that kills its sufferers very young: before the age of five, between the ages of 9 and 10, in the mid-teenage years, between the ages of 18 and 19, at around the age of 22-23 and at the age of 25-26.
Whoever survives this first quarter of a century might usually live decidely longer. But sicklers in their middle-age are still are minority.
So, when I wake up in the morning, I am first of all glad and grateful that I am still alive, before I count my money (or my debts), or my achievements (or lack thereof), or my blessings.
And should I get forget to be thankful, as I often do, there are enough people to remind me. (Recently, my sister's friend remarked to her, somewhat astonished:"Your sister, she is still alive, isn't she ???!!!)
Which, in my considered opinion, is not a bad thing. Maybe what we should all always remember - first and foremost - is that being alive at all, is the greatest success of all.
And since we could not do it without divine help, we should be thankful. And a life well-lived is long enough.