Against all odds, he survived the fire and death of his sister. He understood that he was not able to save her, but he still felt guilty even after so many years.
Against all odds, he helped to elect a dark horse candidate to become the president of the most powerful country. He still did not understand why he agreed to come and see Jed Bartlet. He still did not understand why Leo chose him, but after so many years he was grateful to both men who no longer were able to give him advice or call him “Son”.
Against all odds, he survived the shooting. Only 1% of people with his wound survived the surgery and lived to talk about it. He knew that he survived because he was not along, he knew that Donna, his blond angel, was nearby and she willed him to live. She created the Rules and all, including Leo and President, obeyed by them.
Against all odds, he survived the PTSD episode. He did not kill himself, he did not hurt anyone but himself, and again his blond angel saved him. She recognized what was wrong with him, she went to Leo, and later took him to the Hospital and tacked him in and did not leave until she knew that he was safe.
Against all odds, he survived the Carrick’s betrayal of people and party. He knew then and understood now that it was a miracle that he was able to continue working in White House and that Mrs. Bartlet, who he affectionately called Mrs. B, saved him. He owed her his career and this day.
Against all odds, he managed to talk President Bartlet into walking to the Capitol Hill and leaving it after 12 minutes of a disastrous waiting. He understood that by leaving the President got upper hand in the negotiation with the Speaker, and managed to close the budget. From that point on, the president and White House were in a much better position to negotiate with everyone on the Hill.
Against all odds, second time in his life he managed to put in White House, the unknown candidate. Hellen Santos told him that she forgave him for destroying her life because he showed to the world who her husband really was. President Santos was the first Latino president in the history of the US, and people remembered him as the people’s president. What happened next, he knew was not his fault, but to this day he blamed himself.
Against all odds, he married her. After 9 years of frustrated love, and disappointments, he married her when they went to Hawaii. They did not tell anyone when they came back. They finally were together. It took Sam several days after they came back to understand what had happened. And Sam being Sam, he walked into his office and asked him when he will make an announcement that Donna is his wife and not his lover. He did not understand why he needed to do it. But when Amy walked into his office and began talking about her friend and a date, he walked out into the main office and told everyone that he is married and that his wife would not like if he will be set up for the dates with other women. Someone asked, who he had married, he looked at the door and saw Donna talking to Hellen Santos. No one asked anything else, the room erupted in applause and everyone began congratulating Donna. He stood and smiled. Until this day, Donna teased him about announcements that he did in his life.
Against all odds, he survived the nightmare that they created for him. He did not commit suicide or died because of the major setback of his PTSD. After two years of being out of the public eye and writing two major books about the politics in DC. He managed to come back to the public eye and run not just one, but two campaigns at the time. He managed to elect a new senator and new congressmen both barely turned 30. He managed to rejuvenate the party; he became the party’s backbone again.
Against all odds, they had two children. Doctors told them that she was in her late 30th and he was in his late 40th, both survived major traumas. She was on a pill for decades, and her body most likely would not be able to sustain the pregnancy. When after 22 hours of labor she gave birth to a healthy boy, he was crying and not hiding his tears. He asked Donna if they can give him his father’s name, she just smiled. When two years late she gave birth to the baby girl, he was jumping from joy. His mother was in the room when they told her that they like to name her after his sister. His mother told him that she would be happy if they use Joan’s name, but she reminded him that Jewish tradition will require Joan’s name being the second name because she died before her 60th birthday. She said that they would need to use Rafaela or Haya before Joan to ensure the long life of her granddaughter. Donna asked if they could use any other name before Joan, his mother said that they can use any name they want. So the baby-girl Lyman became Leah Joan Lyman. With her father’s unruly brown hair and her mother’s sky blue eyes, she was a perfect mix of them both.
Against all odds, he brought to White House the third president. The first woman who overcame her own problems and who added the last name of her husband to her last name when she remarried him. Andrea Wyatt-Ziegler lost her seat to the republican, but her then ex-husband wrote on the napkin “Andrea Wyatt for president”. When he showed it to her, she looked at him and added: “-Ziegler”. She told him that she will do it only if he will agree to it. She also told him that she will do it in 6 years. Toby asked his friend to run her campaign, and he agreed. She was third and final presided that he brought to the White House.
And now standing in the middle of the ballroom, next to the three-tiered cake with 85 candles on it, surrendered by his family and friends, who were singing "Happy Birthday" to him, Joshua Lyman could not hide his tears. He did not understand how he got to this point. He knew that he got here against all odds.