Silver Linings, Love and Gratitude

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Silver Linings 1

The connections we make in the course of a life — maybe that’s what heaven is.      –Fred Rogers

I think Valentine’s Day is lovely and I’m not one to oppose any celebration of love.  I wouldn’t turn down any chocolate, but this designated holiday has always felt too commercialized and more about the card companies and florists. Love happens, and not always conveniently on February 14th.  Love comes in many forms, not always the romantic, wrapped-in-a-heart-shaped-box kind of love.

Our family has faced a few challenges in the past few months.  I tore the ACL in my left knee and had surgery to reconstruct it.  Our beloved dog was diagnosed with leukemia.  An old friend of mine passed away.  Our daughter was in a car accident (and thankfully is fine!).  Life has been throwing us quite a few curve balls.  It’s tough to figure out why sometimes we’re hit with them all at once.

Silver Linings 2“Silver linings” are the first thing that come to mind, as cliché as it sounds.  As I sit here, still recovering from surgery, I’ve been reflecting a great deal on those silver linings. Meals have been made for us, transportation issues solved, flowers and care packages sent, and phone calls checking in, connecting me to the outside world.  I am reminded daily of this amazing group of friends and family I am fortunate to have in my life.  Love and gratitude.

My husband and daughter have stepped it up enormously during my recovery, making sure that I’m comfortable, feeding me, taking care of household chores, literally holding me up when I’ve needed it.  They put up with my crankiness and discomfort with much patience.  Love and gratitude.

As I’ve cried out in pain, an angel in the form of my dog, Cooper, comes to my side.  He doesn’t complain, even though insidious cancer cells ravage his body, putting pressure on his bones from the inside out.  He is there for me, calming me down, getting me through some difficult moments.  I only hope I can do the same for him.  Love and gratitude.

A stranger appears at the side of the flipped car where my daughter hangs from her seatbelt on a snowy, icy morning, and he helps to get everyone out safely.  An acquaintance happens to drive by and is able to bring the girls out of the cold and back home.  The car is totaled, but everyone is unharmed.  Love and gratitude.Silver Linings 3

A memorial service for my friend is packed with people, filled with anecdotes, love and memories for a man who lived his life fully and with passion.  A true gentleman, and an avid hiker and traveler – he is an inspiration for us all on how to live a life – with integrity, passion, kindness and grace.  Love and gratitude.

As impatient as I am with my knee, I am allowing myself to heal, giving myself the gift of time, the space to breathe.  Everything I do now takes a lot longer than it normally does.  I have been forced to slow my pace, and refrain from the “busy-ness” that had invaded my life.  I am more present and observant. I am catching up on reading and movies that make me smile.  I am thinking about what I want to photograph next.  About creativity, art, and places I want to see.  I am thinking about changes I want to make in order to live my life fully and passionately, as my friend George did.  Love and gratitude.Silver Linings 4

So, maybe there are silver linings wrapped around the hard things in life.  Lessons, love and gratitude.  I like to think that beyond the traditional holiday, we can see love all around us every day, in different ways, and that is what we should celebrate.  Indeed, Valentine’s Day is about love, so I dedicate this post to all of my supportive family and friends, to whom I am deeply grateful, for surrounding me with your love and healing thoughts.  I also dedicate this post to my friend, George Mather, who will continue to inspire me with a beautiful, well-lived life.

Eat well.  Travel often.  Live your passion.

Steamy Heart



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