An Attitude of Gratitude

I like being grateful, it makes me feel good. I love that telling people why you're thankful for them can make them smile, or if I'm lucky there is hugging and to be honest, I love a good hug! But, being thankful doesn't always come easily to me. Sometimes I'm too wrapped up in my own sad, stressed, anxiety filled biz to take a minute to express to others what a bunch of amazing humans they are. I find myself in this stress/anxiety/sad place every October 2nd (the anniversary of my accident) so I created a ritual-arty (its a ritual party hybrid) so I wouldn't forget.

The ritual that I have with family and a few friends is that we meet at 6:30 am at the corner where the accident happened. My mom passes out red solo cups, and like magic bottles of champagne appear (by magic, I mean the cooler my dad has been hauling with him - but it always feels like magic).  My dad opens up a bottle, and we huddle around each other in a circle as he pours.  We look at each one another, usually with tears in our eyes and smiles on our faces, and we cheers. To life, to love and to the second chance I wasn't sure I was going to get. It is beautiful, and it is sad, and it is a morning I look forward to and dread in equal measure.

While at the accident site, I do my best to tell these incredible people how much they mean to me. Why I am grateful that they loved me when I was weak, cranky, and absolutely helpless.  It is usually something that is sobbed into their necks, so I'm not sure if they actually hear me - but I really do my best! Drinking champagne while doing all of this makes it a party, even though there's a lot of crying.

This past year at the breakfast after my dad mentioned that he has been texting one of the emergency room surgeons Dr. Elizabeth every year, thanking her, giving her updates on me, letting her know how much her help meant to all of us.  

When I heard him say this I felt silly. Why hadn't I thought to reach out to her! There was way more gratitude to spread around!  I asked my dad for her phone number and stepped out into the drizzly morning and called her.  I wanted thank her, but I also reached out because I needed for her to know that she didn't just save my life on that one day - she has been saving my life every single day since. 

The moment that Dr. Elizabeth remembered who I was, we both started to cry. I thanked her for believing that I could live, for not giving up on me and for being so kind and good to me.  I told her that every single thing that has happened in my life since then is because of her, and that I was so immensely grateful for the life that she gave me back.  

I stood out in the rain while she recounted her experience of that day and the six weeks after that I was in her hospital, and it was terrifying and amazing to hear from someone who wasn't my family how close I really was to dying, and also to know what the relationship that we had while I was there meant to her.  Then she shares that she'd been having a really tough couple of years, and that sometimes she questioned why she had chosen to become a doctor. She told me that this call had reminded her why she was in the business of healing. A person that she hadn't seen or heard from in almost eight years saying thank you had made her day.

What I realized while standing in the rain talking to a person I hadn't seen in so long, was that this was the best I had felt all morning. Since then, anytime I have been feeling down, I have sent a text, or called someone I love and told them one reason why I was thankful for them. The person on the other end of that text or call is surprised, and delighted and almost instantaneously, I feel better! 

With that in mind, thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog! Sincerely, it makes me feel like 1 million dollars!! Also, did I mention that you are very attractive?  Like, super duper good looking.  Its true, asking anyone. 

Thanks you for being an unexpected rainbow in a steel gray sky. 

Comments

  1. <3 YOU'RE super-duper good-looking! You always know where to insert a cry-y giggle. Beautiful, Katie. Really beautiful. We're all so lucky to have you!

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  2. Well said, Katie. I am grateful I can still hear your sweet voice in this blog, even though you're far away.

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