moving forward

navigating through the life that was and moving into the life that is

Gratitude on this Thanksgiving Day

on November 26, 2015
Gratitude.
This month, four years ago, my life changed. In ways that I had honestly never even considered or thought about. My life now is completely different, but I am not sad. I am grateful.
Gratitude is a game changer. Everything in life looks sunnier when you are consistently grateful. It’s hard to stay mad, sad, angry etc for too long when you are focused on gratitude.
I didn’t realize just how much my default is positive until the other day: (silly example)
I’m leaving for lunch with a friend. I remember that I forgot my FitBit and run back in my house to grab it. Lunch happens. We’re joking around and my friend says something about not giving me a ride home and me having to walk home. My response was, “hey at least I grabbed my FitBit. All those extra steps.” Then I probably proceeded to do a fist pump or some goofy face. He just smiled at me and said something like “there you go with the positivity, always seeing the bright side.”
That really made me stop and think. I do do that. Without thinking. I have chosen gratitude as my default. Infact, once I chose gratitude, I believe I have worked on it, because it certainly doesn’t come naturally. At some point, I decided that when life has dealt you a very difficult hand of cards, you have two options: fold or keep playing. Accepting and playing that difficult hand will entirely change the way you see the world and yourself in the world. What would have changed if you folded? Nothing.
In simple terms, you can spend your life complaining about the hand you never got, or take the hand you were given and play the shit out of it.
 
My first Thanksgiving after the accident, two days after Glen passed, I wrote my first Facebook status. I had not been allowed access to phones or the internet until this point. Because I was not forming new memories, I had not been told all of the details of the accident. The nurses, family, and friend’s answers to my questions were enough to explain why I was in the hospital until I would forget and then ask again. If allowed on social media or a phone, I would have found out what happened, react to the news and then forget and have to do it all over again. So my family and friends kept me protected.And I know that was hard.  I’ve been told that I kept asking to call Glen because “he probably wanted to talk to his smokin hot wife.” ❤  On November 21st, I began to form new memories and was told about the accident and Glen’s status and that I needed to say goodbye. I have no idea how to really explain what this felt like. 16 days had passed. The last thing I remembered was going to sleep on November 4th and getting a text from Glen saying he was on his way back from boy’s night. Now this. The next two days happened and then family and friends came to celebrate Thanksgiving with me in the hospital. I was overwhelmed. I asked my parents if I could write something on Facebook.
 
Under their supervision and after working for three hours (this was no small feat for me at the time), here is what I wrote. I like to see it as Glen choosing gratitude for me. Gratitude was his default and it is certainly one of the greatest gift’s that he gave me.
 
“November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving – I am eternally thankful for Glen and how without trying he taught me to be a better person. He taught me to understand and relate to people, he taught me how to love unconditionally and how to laugh and enjoy life. I was never happier than when he and I were together, I have never laughed so hard as we did or loved someone so much. I didn’t have to work to love him it was effortless and a kind of joy I had never experienced before. Also we put God first in our relationship and I am positive that is why we thrived and got each other the way we did. Always and anytime he could talk about life and make the people around him feel encouraged. Being around Glen made you realize life was worth it, and that there was always good on the way if you stayed positive. And bottom line, having him around you made you feel worth it, made you enjoy where you were, that was one of his many abilities and blessings. Glen, thank you for being you and never backing down, your children have an amazing role model to remember and I will help them become like you at any chance I can. I love you and I’m sad I don’t get to share the small moments with you anymore but I am excited to teach people about you and how to love like you. You babe have made a difference in my life that I am so grateful for and not a moment will pass where I don’t think of you. Thank you for loving me and teaching me how to love. I will spend the rest of my life being more like you and raising our kids to become children of love and understanding. I am blessed and have you to thank for that. I love you. With everything I have. Thank you again for loving me.”
 
So today and everyday, my friends, choose gratitude. Watch how your life will transform from nothing more than the way you look at it. Resting and living in gratitude makes everything better. ❤
Happy Thanksgiving!
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