Many years ago, when Courtney and Brandon were still small, Mike and I would go to visit his grandmother almost every Sunday. It was a ritual and one which I loved because the kids were getting to know their great-grandmother. More often then not though, Mike's grandmother would start to cry because of the loss of her daughter (Mike's mom). Of course we were sympathetic, but when it started happening every visit, it became too much. At that time I remember saying something to Mike and I remember it like it was yesterday. I said, "If I should be so blessed to live to the ripe old age as your grandmother, I hope that I will focus more on what I have, rather than dwell on all that I don't".
You see, I always thought she should feel blessed. She had 2 sons who doted on her. She had 3 grandsons who either called her or visited her every week. They remained in touch with her, which is an oddity for guys in their 20's/30's with their own lives. I kept thinking about older people who never had any family visiting them and how lonely they must have been and wondered why Mike's grandmother did not see that she was really LUCKY. Of course losing a child is devestating, and I will never down play that. But I felt her energy should have focused more on what she was blessed with.
Fast forward 20 something years and I had to practice what I preached all those years ago. One night I was lying in bed next to Mike feeling sorry for myself. Our current "bedroom" is approx. 6x12 and holds basically just our bed. My side of the bed is against the wall which makes it difficult for me to get in and out of. Mike is always tucked in with the best of our covers, nice and comfy. Me, I had 2 worns blankets as I huddled against the wall. I thought of all my friends lying in their big beds, with fluffy comforters/blankets and pillows. I felt cheated.
Then one night in the heart of winter it was REALLY cold and windy. Then it HIT ME like a ton of bricks. Instead of feeling cheated because of my sleeping situation, I should feel blessed. I HAVE a bed with blankets, I HAVE a comfortable bed (So big deal that it's against the wall), I HAVE a roof over my head...all things other people could just wish for. It was then that I realized that I needed to practice what I preached. Instead of dwelling on all that I lost, I needed to be thankful for all that I have.
Since that night, I can't go to bed without saying a special prayer for those people who are less fortunate than me and thank God for all that I am blessed with: Mike laying next to me, Courtney and Brandon being healthy young adults and supportive family and friends.