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Gratitude, Smatitude

I’ve started, and abandoned, this posting three times since Christina Katz of The Prosperous Writer newsletter, asked us to blog about gratitude this week. 

That should be an easy one, I immediately thought when I first read it, because I have so much to be thankful for. 

Four years ago my husband was completing his cancer treatment.

Today, someone I love is in the midst of theirs.

 It is easy to see why I felt, and continue to feel gratitude, for my dear husband. He went through a lot to rid his body of cancer; surgery that left him voiceless for eight days, in the hospital for eleven, then six weeks of a combination of radiation, chemotherapy and a clinical trial drug that left him weak and thin.  But, alive. Blessedly alive.

It is harder to comprehend why I would continue to feel gratitude while facing the same specter of cancer with someone else.  But I am grateful. I am grateful for just one more day with this person, one more hour, one more chance to tell them how much they mean to me.

I am grateful to have the chance to say goodbye to someone I love.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And angry that they have to go through radiation and who knows what else before cancer wins the battle ahead. 

I am grateful to have made enough at my garage sale to pay for David’s COBRA health insurance policy for yet another month.                                                                                                                                                                                               But angry his job was terminated and we have to struggle to pay for health insurance. 

I am grateful to have an agent for my book.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And also anxiously  waiting for it to be ready to pitch.

You see, gratitude is an attitude, and some days you really have to work at maintaining that attitude. The challenge is to find something each day to be grateful for. Because once you consciously choose to have gratitude, you can find it in even the worst of days. 

I feel gratitude for my friends and family. 

I feel gratitude for the beautiful Iowa weather today. The sun is shining, the temperature a perfect 75-degrees.

I am grateful for my husband’s continued health.

Today I am grateful that I can pick up the phone and call this person who will soon be returning home from their radiation therapy, and I can say “I love you.”                                                                                                                              But it really, really stinks, and I wish they didn’t have to go through all this.

Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Reporter for the Manchester Press newspaper and popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015.

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