Just be grateful you are alive

Albert Einstein quote on gratitude

Sometimes I think we are too preoccupied with insignificant things, when really we should just be grateful to be alive.

Saturday morning, as we were driving to Peterborough, Dave and I witnessed a terrible car accident on Highway 7. We were the first on the scene, so I relayed instructions from the 911 operator to Dave and other kind samaratins who had stopped and were tending to the wounded. There was a mother and an infant who were seriously hurt. The news reports had said their injuries were serious and life threatening and they had been taken to Toronto. The driver of the other car wasn’t seriously injured.

To say each day is a gift sounds trite, but when you see with your own eyes how fragile life is, those words take on new meaning.

That night, our hockey team went out for dinner. As I was leaving the restaurant, there was a young couple holding a baby near the door. I stopped and chatted with them and reached out to hold the baby’s hand. I couldn’t help myself. It felt like if I could just hold that tiny little hand for a minute, it would send waves of love to the other little baby whose hand I couldn’t hold earlier that day, and everything would be okay.

Each day is a gift. This week’s #HappyAct is to just be grateful you are alive. To the mother and baby we helped on Saturday, we’ve been praying for you. We hope you both make it and have a long future ahead with your family filled with love and laughter.

This post is dedicated to the first responders in our communities who are there when we need them most. To watch them in action on that snowy highway on Saturday morning was awe inspiring. You guys are amazing.

The gift of gratitude

quote on gratitudeThis year on Remembrance Day, instead of attending the ceremony held at my work, I sat for a moment of silence at my desk. Dave was in surgery and I didn’t want the phone ringing during the ceremony disturbing others.

I always wonder in that moment of silence what people are thinking. For me, it is always the same thing, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

This year images swirled in my head like red maple leaves dancing in a brisk November wind. Images of Matthew, lying in a hospital bed after emergency brain surgery this week, of Clare holding the flag at her school’s ceremony at the cenotaph, of Dave lying on the gurney in the operating room, of the aftermath of this week’s U.S. election, of Corporal Nathan Cirillo who lost his life at the same place thousands were congregating to honour the sacrifices those like him have made for our country, of my lake, and of the sun shimmering on the water on my drive in from the hospital to work.

There is so much to be grateful for. This week’s #HappyAct is to be grateful every day for the things you hold most precious and dear.

Ed. note: Both Matthew and Dave came through their surgeries well–thankfully.