As I scrolled through blogs looking for one to send this week while I enjoy a little vacation, I came across this story about my dad who passed away in November of 2017. When I read it, I smiled at the memory of him and his good sense. My dad was (and still is in my heart) a very special man. Please enjoy this reminder about gratitude.
~*~ When gratitude makes the heart stronger ~*~
I spent this morning at the hospital with my dad who had a heart attack last week. He’s been blessed with nearly a year of good health thanks to kidney dialysis, and this is the first major setback he’s had since.
While I lean toward green juice, exercise, acupuncture, and a variety of alternative approaches to healthcare, I thank God for the advances of modern medicine. It was miraculous to see my dad go from what seemed to be the brink of death to living independently again.
This morning, as I sat with him while he finished breakfast, we talked about the challenges of staying in the hospital – being poked and prodded all day long, vital sign checks in the middle of the night, and the less-than-ideal food choices.
“You know, Cheryl,” he said, “I realized that while I could be angry and upset about being here, I could also change my thinking and see it differently.”
How so?, I asked.
“Well, I could see myself as a man being treated like a king. After all, I get served three meals a day – some in bed. I have an escort wherever I go. I have people checking in on me all day long. And everyone cleans up after me.”
Oh, and he gets to watch golf any time he wants.
We talked about the healing power of gratitude and went back and forth between us listing examples…
A door on the bathroom instead of a curtain.
A spacious, private room, a standard for the cardiac floor.
Clean sheets every day.
My sister Shelly, his staunch healthcare advocate.
Closed captioning on the TV (dad is nearly deaf).
Kind and competent nurses and doctors.
A room with a window so the light can come in.
As I watched my dad play this gratitude game with me, I found myself feeling thankful for the genes I inherited from him. He’s passed down his resilience and strength, especially in the toughest of times.
I know I write about gratitude a lot, and there’s a reason. It’s healing. It’s hopeful. It reorients us to what’s good in the world.
Your heart will get stronger with each grateful thought, I tell my dad as I leave him later in the day. It’s just as important as the medication you take and the procedures you endure.
He smiles that smile that says you don’t have to tell me, kiddo, I’m your dad, remember?
And this morning, I do .
PS – Our October “Self Care by the Sea” retreat is now open for registration and it’s already half full. You can learn more about this special weekend experience, here.
PPS – There will be no Facebook Live this week. You can view past shows on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.
Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.