Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Be Grateful?

A quick glimpse at my life right now can easily lead anyone to believe that there is not much to be grateful for.

My husband was laid off earlier this year and his severance (and benefits) are over this week. My brother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The doctors speculate that he could be gone in the next 2 to 8 months.

I'm living in a land mine of questions that are currently unanswerable. Is that job going to pan out? Will we be able to stay here in Eugene? If not, where will we go? How long does my brother really have? Should I go to Tennesse now or wait till he comes back to California with my mom? And of course, the always popular why and what if? So...why be grateful?

I was very lucky to just complete a 40 day gratitude program called Gratitude Groove with my dear and beautiful friend, Kristin. We spoke on the phone every day and talked through daily exercises together. I realized that I can be grateful - no matter what.

My brother may not live past 6 months - but I am grateful to know this now so that I can spend as much time as possible with him and make sure he knows how much he is loved. It also helps me remember that we really don't know how much time anyone has left - and we shouldn't waste a single second of it - the time to love yourself and love your friends and family is NOW. And love everyone else too.

Malcolm's job situation is not optimal but we are better off than a lot of people - around the world and here in America. We won't go to bed hungry or cold. We also have each other.

It's not always easy. I want to talk myself out of it - I should be sad, I should be scared, I should be sick with worry.

I took a break from the sadness, worry and fear and we went to the Saturday Market yesterday.

Malcolm bought this bouquet for me.

I got some beets that I am going to roast with olive oil and sea salt.

Our friend, Brent showed up and made me laugh.

We saw Get Smart at the dollar theatre and laughed some more.

I realized that the sadness, worry and fear will always be there. I am grateful for what they can teach me. I am grateful for knowing that I can choose to set them aside.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." ~ Buddha


knoxy said...

I love you, Dishy.

(omg - that photo of brent is awesome!)

Brandi said...


Anonymous said...

You rock, Dishlicious <3

Meg/Angelmouse xxoo

Anonymous said...

I will always be grateful that I met you and the Malcolm. And the Molly. My life is better for having you in it and don't you forget it.

I'll have a hat for you by this weekend. It will be the softest, warmest thing ever...

Kristin said...


mccabe said...

wow, this is so hauntingly beautiful. i am so sorry to hear the news of your brother, and j and i send you all so much love and prayers. i am sure he feels so loved by you, you are good at that.

this is way inspiring. i love that you and kristen did this together. "why be grateful?" could this be the title of your first novel?

with love and support,
mccabe xx

rebeccaandearlofsandwich said...

Good golly, girl. That's a lot of stuff! I know we don't have massive superhuman powers to fix everything (because if we did, you know we totally would) but what can we do to help? Eugene would like to keep you guys. Us too...

jen lemen said...

this is the best quote ever. blessings to you! i've lived through a few of those things, but not all at the same time, so sending lots of love your way.

jen gray said...

thank you for this,,

jen gray

Colorsonmymind said...

my husband was laid off two weeks ago and we are both trying to look at it as an opportunity for him to find something he loves to do. It takes a lot of work to move through the fear.

An author I was made to read in grad school wrote the first phrase I ever remembered enough to quote:

"Don't let the fear of what is difficult paralyze you".

It is paralysis and non movement that escalates the fear. I think moving through and giving the power to gratitude is key to being happy. Like you say there are always opportunities to shove your conciousness to gratitude when it feels planted in fear.

I lost my mother to lung cancer 5 yrs ago.

She was given 6-9 months and lived 22 months. I hope you have many beautiful moments with your brother.

Much love to you

Anonymous said...

you have a beautiful attitude.
my prayers are with you as you go on this journey with your brother.
kim from wilmington, nc

tricia said...

sending positive thoughts your have a beautiful outlook on life.

Glad Doggett said...

I will share my personal mantra with you: "My life is full of success, joy and abundance."

I hope you continue to find reasons to be grateful every day.

Anonymous said...

hi trish.

i'm really sorry about your brother's diagnosis. that's shitty. sounds like you're dealing with it well. take care...


Anonymous said...

I have survived a lot of my bad times through that quote. I am so glad you can see and embrace the goodness that is out there, things may not be perfect but it's how we look at them that make all the difference. My prayers will be with you and your family.

dreamergirl said...


really, i'm lost for words. except to say that i'm sending love and prayers.

Anonymous said...

your heart is so wide open.
that's awesome.

i wish for you heaps and heaps of
wonderful, magical moments with
your brother and may your husband find
another job/or passion that fills him with

this post is
beyond words.
thank you for it.

be blessed, courageous woman.


Boho Girl said...

sending you warmth and a peace that washes over you and all that surrounds you right now.


nicole said...

g r a t e f u l


Kim Mailhot said...

Thank you for shining your strength and courage outwards in the form of gratitude. It inspired me to look for my own...
May you get some extra loving today that will make the journey a little easier.

Cynthia said...

sending you big hugs sweetie:)
thank you for this beautiful post.

Amanda said...

i found you through dancing mermaid. and i was so inspired by your post.
your love.
your outlook.
and your gratitude.

thank you for sharing.

andrea scher said...

What a beautiful post.. and such food for thought. I am grateful for you today, for having read this, and reminded of how we are all connected in our joy and pain.

I'm so sorry things are so hard.
My heart aches for you and your family.

And I am moved by your heart full of love.

Barb said...

I will light a candle today for honor of your strength, your story, and your courage.

All the best,

miz katie said...

I just found your blog through Dancing Mermaid. I am grateful to her for posting your link, and for you writing this beautiful post. I've added you to my google reader, so I can stay updated.

Jacki said...

So true, so beautiful. Thank you.

di said...

trying to find words.
for now, just grateful.
found you through mccabe.
will be back.
will be praying for you
for your brother.
i will pray.
i will leave rocks around
and think of you both every time.
love to you.

blisswarrior said...

found you through mccabe...
dearest heart, we were there not too terribly many months ago and the dollar movie was our hangout as well...I will tell you that we not only grew stronger as a couple but as individuals...the dollar movie isn't so bad when you are with your heart's desire...much love to you and M and healing wishes to your brother...heart, Jess

Anonymous said...

thank you for the reminder.

I think that you are beauty-filled.


Honey said...

I am truly inspired by your strength and clarity. I am sending you all much love and blessings so that you are able to remain present through all this.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful mermaid guided me here...

My great Grandmother and I used to watch the movie Pollyanna over and over and over. In that movie, Pollyanna played the "glad game", which is doing exacty what you've said here. I've often referred back to that in times of fear and I need to again... You just reminded me of that...thanks

Anonymous said...

you and your family be in my prayers.. takecare <3

Woz said...

i heart you dishie