Today I am living an abundant life. I didn’t think so seven years ago. In 2006 my father lost his battle to cancer, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was a mechanic at heart, jokester, and loved life. During that same time my sister was in a raging war with Ovarian Cancer. Her laughter filled a room, and she didn’t know a stranger…she turned everyone into a friend. She fought hard, but lost in 2008. In two years our family lost two members to cancer.
I didn’t grieve. Hard to believe isn’t it? I didn’t have time…you know…those 86,400 seconds that make up each day. I was busy caring for my mother. She was confined to a wheelchair and had the spirit of a 24 year old. She was grieving the loss of her husband of 57 years, and a 54 year old daughter. A parent should not have to say good-bye to their child. I was her support system, the rock…as I am fondly called. She was an inspiration to her family and everyone she met. She loved music, lipstick, and finger nail polish.
We were planning on going to the local arboretum on Mother’s Day. I got the call that morning… she was sick. Would I come? I went and sat with her until she took her last breath. I planned the Celebration of Her Life, greeted friends, attended the service…and went to bed.
My emotions were shredded, I was bleeding and for the first time grieved the death of three family members in six years. I woke up in the morning, went to work, came home, and went to bed…everyday…the same routine. I was numb to life…and no one knew. My grief was deep.
One morning I woke up, and had enough. That’s when I heard the voice. Oh it wasn’t audible, but it was clear. “Live the moment. Look for the gifts. Give thanks.” Instead of living 86,400 seconds, I started living the moments. Anyone can live a moment. I started being present, living just the moment…not yesterday or tomorrow…just the moment, the now. Everyday was a scavenger hunt looking for His gifts. They were everywhere, and I found out, they are always free. My life became a life of gratitude…for the moments, and His gifts.
Today I still live the moments, not taking for granted my 86,400 seconds. I still look for His gifts…every single day…especially on the tough days. The tougher the day, the harder I search for His gifts. Thanks to MKMMA I am learning that this is The Law of Substitution, substituting a negative thought for a positive thought. The last thing of the day? Giving thanks, it is the only way to peace.
People ask me, do you really still live this way? Do you really believe everyday is a great day? Don’t you ever have a bad day? YES. There are great days, and there are days that I need to live the moment. I am not a Pollyanna, I just choose my thoughts…and I choose joy, anticipation and peace.
I believe life is a gift waiting to be opened. I love opening gifts…don’t you? All we have to do is, “Live the moment. Look for His gifts. Give thanks.” And at the end of the day…say “I lived!”