Grateful, Part II

It has been eons since I updated this page. Life has thrown some curve balls my way. But I am fortunate enough to be able to stand back and see that from the darkest of days, the most difficult of times, I have grown. I am stronger, smarter, more grateful, more alive. I would not wish the events of my family’s past year on the most evil of strangers or enemies, however the perspective that can be gained from learning, first hand, how fragile life can be are hard-earned and life-altering. Perspective like that is a gift. I feel like I have joined a unique fraternity (sorority) of people who have almost seen life – the life of a loved one or their own – slip away, only to have it saved (several times over, in our case) and given a second chance – a rebirth.

Don’t get me wrong – these 17 months have delivered much more than an appreciation of my new found perspective. I have LOST what faith I had in religion – to the dismay of many friends and family members. I have GAINED an idolatry for science, surgery and medicine. I have buried myself in work to avoid family at times, and I have left a high level Executive position for a traveling sales job to avoid both, in a way. But after feeling like I was drowning in despair, in defeat, at least now I have found the horizon. Now I can see the land line in the distance, and I have found my pace to swim there. And as I swim, one stroke at a time, I have found the peace of mind to be able to sort the details of the past into piles: the good, the bad, the memorable, the forgettable. And the good pile is getting bigger. And the forgettable pile is getting forgotten. The memorable pile makes me smile, cry, think and be grateful. And the bad pile is small. I keep moving things from the bad pile to one of the other piles. That is progress, right?

Sometimes I think that I can believe the statement “Life is what you make it”. Sometimes, when things get so bad you can barely see the tiny light at the end of the tunnel, or you can’t get out of the shadow of the enormous dark figure that is blocking everything in your view, you need to just drift, and rely on the help and support of your friends, family and sometimes strangers. But when the light gets bigger, or the darkness goes from black to gray, it’s important to be grateful for that minute change. It’s important to take note of the progress, even if it is in millionths of a degree, or you can force the darkness back to black all by yourself. You can block out that pinpoint of light, of hope, by accident.

So my measure of progress, of happiness, is in degrees of light. It’s getting brighter. Every day. And my husband is alive. And my daughter is flourishing in spite of the events in our household for half of her short, sweet life. And I have found my footing in a new job that reminds me daily that I am good at what I do – I care about my success, and the success of the customers I serve.

Everything I said in the post below about being grateful is still true, and in addition, I am glad I wrote it to remind me of where I was not long before I got derailed, and where I am getting back to now that I have found the track again. How lucky am I?

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