Gratefulness - Mic Drop Moment
You've done so well, but...
I was speaking with an acquaintance the other day about my multiple myeloma. The conversation turned to my remission of over five years. It then moved to improvements in treatments, increasing rates and lengths of cancer remissions, and finally to the importance of a positive and grateful attitude in aiding continued remission.
Then my acquaintance said something that stopped me in my tracks. I knew I was in trouble when his next sentence was, "Don't take this wrong."
Handling a tragedy with grace
He told me how much he appreciated the positive and grateful nature in how I managed my health issues, but he had recently seen an old friend who had gone through a life tragedy but had handled it with unbelievable grace. He proceeded to tell me that after hearing his friend's experience, he felt what he heard was the epitome of positivity and gratefulness.
Of course, I asked him to tell me the story. I knew he did not intend to minimize what I had experienced. Plus, I was very curious.
Sufferers are awesome!
The account he shared opened my eyes so much more to the level of suffering people all around us experience and how much strength so many people have. More than I think I could muster up, even knowing what I experienced. Sometimes it’s hard to escape from your own story. I walked away from that conversation with a greater appreciation of the heights hope, faith, and gratitude can reach.
The story was about a five-year-old girl who had passed away after being diagnosed with glioblastoma just after she turned four. It was his friend’s daughter. As I expected, he said the death devastated the family, creating great anguish and suffering.
Mic drop moment
My acquaintance then dropped the proverbial bomb that impacted me more than any sermon I have heard or book I have read about living with gratitude. He told me what his friend said about losing his daughter at such an early age. I am paraphrasing what his friend said.
Supposedly many well-meaning people had been saying what you would expect. “She was so young.” “She was such a taken too soon.” “I don’t understand why God gave you so little time with her.” …. etc., etc., etc. He said he thought the same things, and asked the same questions, praying constantly for answers.
The answer that came to him surprised me and evidently, his friend, the father. The answer was “Many years with his daughter hadn’t been taken away, but five years of his daughter’s love and happiness were gifted to him.” He told my acquaintance that was not the answer he was expecting, but when it came, it felt like a huge weight was lifted from his shoulders.
Finally, his friend told my acquaintance he wished he would have had that wisdom when his daughter was born. He then gave a piece of advice, saying “Every day, thank God for that day with your loved ones. Know that you aren’t owed anything, and that each day is a blessing. Let your loved ones know every day how thankful and blessed you are to have them in your life. I had five years with my daughter. I could have had none.” Mic drop moment…
My gratefulness is only exceeded by my wish to be more grateful
Many of you who read my blogs know I do my best to live my life gratefully. After hearing this story, I decided I needed to pick up my game. I now try even harder to be more grateful for the additional days I’ve been given, the new countries I've seen, the books and blogs I’ve written, the concerts I’ve attended, my reluctant service dog Fynn, the 8000 miles I've walked since I was told I may not walk again without a thoracic brace, seeing my children grow to be wonderful human beings, my wife growing more beautiful and giving each year.
Ok, Ok, my editor is telling me my sentence is too long, but I have to put a finally on this... and finally, seeing two amazing granddaughters come into my life. They are such a great source of love. I am so thankful for every day I have with them. There is so much more!
I can only hope that I have many more days and years. One thing I do know now is that whether it is one hour or ten years, I will be eternally grateful for all the blessings given me, especially these past five years.
Live life gratefully and make every day count.
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