Remember to be thankful
This past week’s holiday always offers a good time to reflect and think about what we’re thankful for. This year I was struggling a little bit, and the list didn’t come quite as easily as it has in the past. But, then again, it’s always easy to be thankful in the good times; it’s not so easy to be thankful when times are a little bit tougher. I’ve learned that those are the times we really need to re-evaluate and realize just how very blessed we are.
So, I thought about it and started really listing the things I am thankful for the most. Turns out what I have that I am thankful for can’t be measured on a spreadsheet or found in my bank account — things that cannot be easily replaced, but that have significant and irreplaceable value. I’m more fortunate than I knew.
Thanksgiving night I heard from a good friend, she wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t sure what was going on until the next day after following up with her doctor. She was taken from the emergency room to a facility in Philadelphia where she was diagnosed with a very large brain tumor. She is eight years younger than I am. I was shocked and immediately overcome by a sense of sadness for her.
I was said not just because that is the type of devastating news, that no one ever wants to hear, but because she’s a mom of two small children and the thing she is most worried about right now is making sure that this Christmas still goes by with as little disruption to their schedule as possible and that nothing takes away their excitement.
Of course, as she is anyway pretty much the type to immediately take control of the situation, she was very quickly (with the help of a team of amazing doctors) able to orchestrate a plan from her hospital room, and I have no doubt that her determination will work greatly in her stead. But what amazed me most was the incredible attitude and strength she found in this unbelievably scary and unknown situation.
She was honest, and she kicked and screamed and got mad, but then she pulled herself together and found her strength in her family and in her faith. When it would seem like she had every reason to be unthankful, this woman found some very good reasons to give thanks and in doing so set an incredible standard for the rest of her friends and family to follow through this very trying time.
Life seldom works out how we expect it to, if anything it’s more predictable for the curveballs that it’s likely to throw at us. I don’t know what you might be going through this season. The holidays are a hard time of year for many, and it can be even harder for the ones that are struggling when it seems like everyone else is making merry and having the best of times. We need to look out for those fellow humans and make sure they don’t get swept along and overlooked in this busiest time of year.
No matter what it is you are facing know this, you’ll get through this. Go with grace.