Loved by an Island

St. John Tradewinds,
To witness our island celebrating the spirit of Christmas as one big family was so very joyful and fulfilling for me. It was exactly what I had prayed for when we first began working on the St. John Christmas Music Festival.

From the amazing weekend of concerts, to the Sunday children’s parade with Santa, we all felt that after a number of months of sadness and tears, the “Love” in Love City was finally back to stay.

Two days later, without any warning, all the joy that I was immersed in was overpowered by intense pain. I had become suddenly quite ill and very scared. By Wednesday evening, Dec. 21, I was in the Intensive Care Unit at Mt. Sinai Hospital on Miami Beach, and the following morning I had the first of what was to be two abdominal surgeries.

I spent Christmas, New Years and the next three weeks in the ICU at the hospital. Although my husband Steve and my son and daughter were by my side the entire time, I knew in my heart that it would take nothing short of a miracle to pull me through this.

That miracle was the “Love from Love City.” This amazing outpouring of love showed up on our phones and in our mail boxes, as they filled with messages of support, caring and hope.

Every day I received encouraging words of love as my husband sat by my bedside and read to me from the hundreds of letters, cards, e-mails and phone messages that just kept coming and coming. The realization that the “Love” in Love City really never left was the miracle that I needed.

I am now out of the hospital and working very hard to regain my energy and strength. I miss my friends, my daily walks into town, my hikes on the trails, my gym workouts, my tennis games…but most of all, I miss our island—our beautiful, wonderful, healing island, for I have been loved by an island and it feels so very good.

With all my love,
Helen Simon