Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day:
“There are tomorrows on their way worth the struggles of today. Never give up.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gratitude is Medicine

My New Year's Eve was the worst ever.
I felt like the crud under cow herder's shoes, having cried my fair share of tears the past few days. My husband was seriously hurt in a car accidenta wreck that kept him in the hospital for five days, me at his side.  It was wrong; it was just wrong.  For crying in the night, he's the good guy!  He's the hero who saves other people from car wrecksthe seasoned emergency responderthe careful, experienced, safe, law-abiding driver!  For criminy's sake the man's never even had a parking ticket!

Life is so not fair. I have been repeating these words as if the fact were some profound epiphany.  This whole thing sucks lemons.  And so for New Year's Eve, all I could think about was how awful, how dreadful 2015 was destined to be.

It seems traditionally we bring in every new year with eager optimism, making grand goals, having great expectations that excite us to action from day one.  We stand at the threshold, hopeful.  But this year, day one kindled no such hope or excitement for me, only a bleak sigh at the unavoidable uphill climb ahead.

It's easy to stew in a pot of wo mea salty stock made from my own tears.  I nearly lost my husband.  The idea is sickening.  He was stapled and stitched together, his mobility hampered by injury.  Bedrest, the doctors say.  No work.  An active guy forced to stop and wait for bones and flesh to heal.

What a dismal way to start off the new year.  Life is so not fair.

January 1st, the sun rose as always.  My spirits did not.  I got up and went about helping my husband to carefully rise and strap on a sturdy back brace.  Pain killers are administered every four hours; it hurts otherwise.  He paused to thank me for my help, for my aid and assistance throughout the past hard week.  This John Wayne of a man thanked me with tears in his eyes.  I felt a warm ray of sunlight in my chest at his heartfelt expression of gratitude, and I too was grateful.  I was grateful to hear him say those kind words to me.

I was affected by these feelings of gratitude amid tragedy. The idea made me contemplate how we have things in this situation to be grateful for:
  • My husband survived.  A rear-end collision at 50-60 mph managed to crumple his truck like an aluminum can, but my husband survived.
  • No one was in the truck with himno child crushed in the back seat.
  • His injuries, though painful and timely to heal, are expected to mend.  He was nearly killed, but not.  He was nearly paralyzed, but not.
  • A great many friends and family have reached out to support himus.  They've stopped by for unexpected visits at the hospital and at home, offered words of encouragement over the phone, posted kind sentiments on Facebook, brought meals to us, offered assistance at any time of the day, held us firmly with hugs, whispered earnest prayersall of it a heartwarming reminder that friends make every bit of difference in life.
  • We've learned that laughter is a better pain killer than any narcotic.
  • At the hospital, I crossed paths with many a stranger who proved to me that kindness and compassion are still strong in the world.  I also realized that misfortune is a shared truth; everyone has an emotional, true story to tell.
Ironic that I should learn to greater appreciate my own quote:
"Gratitude is medicine for a heart devastated by tragedy.  If you can only be thankful for the blue sky, then do so." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
My eyes still sting with tears, and weariness lingers in my bones, but I have decided that a year beginning with an uphill challenge has the potential to reap more rewards than I first thought.  Perhaps 2015 will be a year of improved health, closer friendships, greater wisdom...........and a new truck.



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