Search
  • Athanasia Houvarda

The gift of life

I was in a meeting a few years back and all the attendees were asked to respond to the same question..


-What is the gift of life?


And I was taken aback from that question. For many, the answer was so obvious that they had no problem responding immiadetely. I heard them say that the gift of life is life it self. But none of them said more so I was left a bit confused thinking to myself, "what do they mean?" I also heard people saying that life is beautiful, is precious, is rewarding, and don't get me wrong, I agree with all that, but I was still struggling to find my own answer.


And my thoughts took me back to when I came close to having the gift of life, life it self, ripped away from me. I was only 23 years old. I fought like I never had done before, to keep this gift, this precious gift and I won the fight. I earned it and it was mine.


But I often wondered... what was it that gave me the determination to hold on to this gift and not let go. Was it the value of life? Was it the memories I had and wanted to hold on to? Was it the air I breathed and filled my lungs with, that made me feel alive? Was it the images my eyes witnessed over the years, and were longing to see more? Maybe it was the love I had for the people around me that I never wanted to lose.


And as I was lost in my thoughts trying to give my own answer to this simple question, I was abruptly brought back into reality when I heard my name and it was time for my response.


I stood there for a few seconds, not sure what to say, and I took a deep breath. Mostly to buy me some time to think, rather than finding the right words to express my thoughts. And as I was breathing in.. The only thought I had was the thought of my mother. I tried to push her thought away because I was running out of time, but I couldn't. And then it became clear. I knew what was my gift of life.


My mother gave me the gift of life. Not once, but twice! I know, it sounds strange but it is true.


When I was 23 years old, I watched my life transform in one split second. I was involved in a horrific car accident that left me fighting for my life. The first days were critical, to the point that they gave up on me.


But not my mother.


As long as I was still breathing and holding on, she was determined to not let me go. While I was in the Intensive Care Burns Unit of Papanikolaou Hospital in Greece, she found out that my chances of surviving, from limited they were getting closer to non existent. She then made the hardest desicion of her life. To take matters in her own hands. She arranged everything and 8 days after my accident I was airlifted and taken to UK, to St. Andrew's Broomfield Hospital. She had her doubts, she questioned her decision every step of the way. But as long as I was breathing, she was breathing too, and her decision gave me another chance.


It was a long, hard, challenging road to recovery. But we recovered.

Me and my mother
"My gift of life"

Many times I find my self hurting for the pain I caused to my family. What they had to go through because of me.

Yes, I had to fight to survive. And yes, I was the one injured.

But what is it that hurts more at the end? Is it our body? Or is it our heart?




My mother is also a survivor. She is my role model. She is my rock.

She is MY GIFT of life.




Thank you mum for not giving up on me and for giving me life twice. I love you






(Dedicated to all the mother's of the world that breath because their children breath)


160 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All