A Gratitude Attitude

Gratitude1Neils’ story, Dancing with Class reminded me of the benefits in looking back and remembering how smitten we were with our loved ones from the start. Beneath the surface of the caregiving responsibilities, it’s the beacon of love that motivates us in our journey. Taking a step back can rejuvenate our efforts.

I loved Judith’s beautifully written editorial comment, “When our eyes locked I smiled mostly in wonder because I could see love, a physical manifestation, as a light with many colors streaming from his face. I knew that we were together, united and I was safe, as I had never before been safe.”

This expresses perfectly how I hope to make Mark feel—together, united and safe. I imagine that’s the goal of most caregivers. If your loved one isn’t able to communicate their love and appreciation for you, imagine Judith’s wonderfully expressed words. Caregiving is a physical manifestation of our love and hopefully our loved ones see it and feel it too.

We often take our loved ones for granted and don’t appreciate or even realize many of their accomplishments until they either leave us or are severely injured. I related to Neil’s words, “I did not, until that moment, know how well loved and respected she was.”

I love the month of November and the Thanksgiving celebration, which reminds us to be grateful for what we have and the people in our lives. Taking time to reflect on our blessings and the positive traits of our loved ones brings joy and contentment in an otherwise noisy and hectic life.

What resonated the most with me from Neils story was, “The physical issues were not unlike that of a newborn baby. The changes in body functions required frequent attention. Preparing meals, bathing and nurturing were not unfamiliar, but the intensity of it was.”

Our individual lives are chaotic enough, but when another person is relying on us for the most basic needs of daily living, responsibility and pressure are added from sun up to sun down. It’s no wonder exhaustion and doubts creep in concerning our ability to be a good caregiver.

It’s been a tiring year for Mark and I. Tests, surgeries, therapy and too many needed doctor visits, which have nearly depleted all my energy. However, “no matter what’s going on outside of us, there is always something we could be grateful for.” I appreciate the connection and inspiration I get from other caregivers, which fill me up. I’m looking forward to the rest of Neils’ story and a Thanksgiving month, which continually reminds me to take time to count my many blessings.

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4 thoughts on “A Gratitude Attitude

  1. It is always inspiring to me to witness a caregiver in their own daily thanks giving. It is not always the happy people who are thankful, but it is the thankful people who are happy. Those with heavy burdens showing their thanks, in any given circumstance, become the happiest people of all. Maybe this is why God has instructed us to be thankful – so we can be happy also.
    1 Thessalonians 5:18
    “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

    Thanks for the reminder Barbara. I am going to have a thanks giving day, TODAY!

  2. I am so thankful that I was blessed with so many wonderful family members that inspire me and who remind me of important values in this life. Growing up and spending Thanksgiving day with my Aunts, Uncles and cousins brought me so much joy as well as a Thankful heart. I agree with Rosanne… To be truly happy.. we must be thankful and grateful in all things. Whether it be our trials and the miracles we see in those trials, or even when things are going well. I am thankful for you and the example you have been to me. I’ve watched you as you’ve cared for Mark and I have been reminded many times of just how blessed I am to have you in my life! Both you and Mark are an inspiration to me and my family! I love you both and am thankful for your influence in my life! Happy Thanksgiving Mark and Barbara!

    • Thank you Melody for your sweet comment. I too have wonderful memories of our holiday traditions. We are so blessed by our heritage! I appreciate your lifelong love and support. You are a wonderful cousin and I love you too!

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