One thing I have truly learned from this experience is gratitude. I feel like my eyes have been opened to all the little things that are around me. I titled this post "choosing gratitude" because I really believe it is a choice we have to make. We can all find some things to complain about, no matter where we are in life, and sometimes the negative can feel overwhelming. We also all have things to be grateful for, our lists may look quite different, but we can all choose to be grateful people, wherever we are. When I start to focus on the negative, I realize how quickly those negative feelings can be turned around. I just wanted to write down some of the things I can be grateful for even during these times.

1. I am grateful for co-pays, deductibles, and the 20% that we have to pay for medical bills, because, although it can feel overwhelming, it means we have insurance and do not have $60,000 in medical bills to pay.

2. I am grateful for the bills we have to pay, because it means we live in a warm house, with food and electricity and all the things that money pays for.

3. I am grateful for our weekly visits to the hospital for Brinley's chemo, because it means that she is alive, and fighting.

4. I am grateful for the complaining my kids do because it means they are comfortable enough to be themselves and tell me how they feel.

5. I am grateful for the mess to clean up every day, because it reminds me I am surrounded by people I love who have a place to put their things, even if it's not in the right spot :)

6. I am grateful for a Christmas with no money because instead of rushing out to finish up shopping, we are spending time as a family and enjoying the season more than ever before.

7. I am grateful for all the extra help I have needed around the house because it is teaching my oldest daughter how to work hard.

8. I am grateful for a husband who is just as stressed as I am, and gets frustrated like I do, because it means I have someone who shares my feelings and understands me, and who also would give his life for our children. And it means I have a partner to go through life with, disappointments, sorrows, joys, happiness, we get to experience them together, and I can look at him and know we are fighting this side by side.

9. I am grateful for the pain that I feel, because it means I am alive, and can just as easily feel joy as pain, and after the storm I can see the sunshine, and that makes the storm worth it.

10. I am grateful for all of the advice that I get :) because it means I have people who love us and care about us, and want to help us in any way that they can, and any advice we get comes from the heart of a person who only wants the very best for our family.

11. I am grateful to be in a position to need help from the outside world, because I get to see the good there is out there, and experience firsthand the generosity that other people show, to use as an example to follow when I get the opportunity to pay it forward for someone else.

Yeah, yeah, quite a different post from the other day, but I AM on a roller coaster, remember?

Update: Brinley is doing great, happy as can be, seeming perfectly normal. Her next chemo will be Monday if she makes counts. We are crossing our fingers that she will. We are trying to be cautious about her being around people because we have no idea where her ANC is.
We are truly having a wonderful Christmas season and are feeling very blessed.


Anonymous said...

T H A N K Y O U !!!!
For letting us know that our prayers are "still" being answered ;) When your kids are all raised and you are just sitting around enjoying the grandkids, would you please consider being an author of at least your family's autbiography? What a way with words you have my beautiful niece...Love & tons of hugs to all
Aunt Nancy ;) ;)

Anonymous said...

Up days are wonderful!! There are so many things to be thankful for, and hopefully this 'high' will continue for a while. There is nothing like those beautiful kiddos enjoying life to remind us how blessed we are! Have a Merry Christmas with your wonderful family!

John Hanks said...

Thanks for writing my next talk on gratitude. I'm so grateful you're learning more about gratitude. You've shown us how to be grateful when it's not so easy.

LaAna said...

Just wanted to let you know that you are still in our hearts and prayers! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy each other!