For the last 4 days in Florida and 6 months prior since the cancer diagnosis, it has become a Premji family tradition to propose a toast with every drink. Whether it’s a virgin strawberry daiquiri, fresh lemonade at Desoto beach or coffee at Denny’s, our toast is always the same – to life. I’m not sure how it came to be, but it is a ritual that has become so meaningful in our lives. For each one of us, it symbolizes something different. My Dad sees the alternative of life as death; toasting to life is a reminder that his life partner is alive and well. That my Mom is still with us in spite of two severe blood cancers. My Mom lives and breathes our toasts – for her, it captures a moment in time to celebrate being alive. So as I sit here at Clearwater beach with the starry night above me and the sound of the ocean all around, I would like to propose a toast to life.
Here’s to the certainty of the sun rising every day and the stars shining every night.
To surprises, unexpected delights and all of the joy that comes our way.
To treading confidently in the direction of our dreams.
To living each experience. To being present.
To first dates, play dates and everything in between.
To laughing until your stomach hurts.
To exclamation marks!
To freedom, to choice, to being the hero of your own story.
To unexpected curveballs and roadblocks with a bag of lessons to be learned.
To time – every second, every moment of it.
Here’s to, first sips and last bites.
To the beauty of our dreams. And the magic of making them come true.
To love, the greatest of all forces. And to holding onto it once we’ve been lucky enough to find it.
To family. To friends who find their way into our hearts.
To a world of opportunity and living in the world of possibilities
To hope. And the courage and faith to know that everything will be okay.
To the gift of living. To each breath.
For this is what life is. To life!