When you have NORMAL taken away from you, you go into a survival mode. This is how it was when my daughter suffered from a head injury and for about a year, we were in survival mode. The things that she was once able to do before her accident slipped into our distant memory.
Things that I had taken for granted and NEVER really was grateful for or realized how truly amazing they were until they became undoable. Things like her going to school, riding in a car, going to church, playing on the merry go round at the park, the flash on my camera or just going to the mall...
...all of these things triggered seizures. We were on lock down as a family. In the last 11 months, Lilia has made significant progress and is doing amazingly well.
When I began to see the shift in my daugther's healing turn into more good days then bad, I had a PROFOUND sense of gratitude for the littlest things. The normal things. The things that we so easily take for granted. I'm not talking about the THANKFULNESS that we are supposed to feel on Thanksgiving every year. I am talking about an ACHE in my soul. An ache, that as I sit and write, I feel in the deepest part of my heart even today. I literally began to see things differently. I am talking about a new lens by which I view the world.
During this time of profound gratefulness, I decided to make a GRATITUDE Board.
I wanted to remember this feeling, the deep sense of divine gratitude.
Beacuse I know how often we forget.
I got a HUGE canvas and started painting it outdoors. I used cream and white to sketch out the backdrop of what would be the BIG G that would stand for Grateful. I then painted a little g. This would stand for girl. My little GIRL , who through her story, I was blessed to know true gratefulness.
I borrowed stencils from my friend Jeanne Oliver and I used black paint to write words that I was grateful for.
The first thing that I wrote was:
CUP HALF FULL.
I know that there are really only 2 ways to see every situation.
I could have looked at the lack.
There certainly was enough to go around.
I could have focused on the pain, the suffering, the fear and anxiety and sleepless nights.
I could have focused on what we didn't have, the deficit, the lack, the dismay.
But I chose and I continue to choose, to look at
and knowing that even if there is only a
...it will always be ENOUGH.
It only takes ONE DROP to make the start of half full.
Because ONE DROP is ONE MORE then empty.
My cup is half full...
and I am grateful.
Next I wrote more words, some BIG, some little, some seemingly more important, some seemingly unimportant, but none the less, equally grateful for.
After I wrote with stencil and painted many of the words, I then typed out more words...
maybe people in my life whom I am so thankful for
or even the littlest of things, like cilantro
really big things
and phrases that speak deep to my soul.
and of course the slogan on how we do marriage.
The best part is that I can ADD on to this board whenever I want.
This ART project will NEVER be done...
as long as I live...
I will continue to be GRATEFUL and will add new things to my board.
And I hung it above my bed.
When I wake up in the morning, it is often the first thing I see.
It is a constant reminder of the good things in my life.
A constant reminder of all that is
and that LIFE surrounds us
with these things in HOPE
that we will all see them
...and be GRATEFUL.
What are you GRATEFUL for today?
According to Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others."