When I was with Olive in the hospital, I spent a good amount of time feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. Not just for big things, like the doctors and nurses that saved Olive’s life, but for the little things as well.
The cleaning lady that came into my room and hugged me when I was alone by Olive’s bedside.
The Ronald McDonald room where I got to stay and get some much needed rest.
Our cousin Amber, who brought us meals most nights that we were there, so we didn’t have to eat hospital food all the time.
The wonderful nurses (especially Maggie, Karli, Jodi, Lavender, Annette, and Jana) who became our friends and were so loving and supportive over the time we were there.
The 14-year-old boy that got a cyst removed from his brain around the same time Olive was in the PICU. He brought Olive a pink stuffed elephant before he was discharged.
My mother and father-in-law, who watched Josie for the two weeks we were in the hospital and let us stay with them for a week after we got out.
My parents for coming out to see us and for sacrificing so much to ensure that our family was alright.
The friends, family, and strangers that sent prayers and well wishes to Olive and followed her progress over those weeks.
The ladies that made blankets for Project Linus, which Olive received while she was in the PICU.
As I made it through that incredibly difficult time, the gratitude I felt helped me be strong. It really is true that in your darkest moments, being grateful can provide light.
I’m so terrible at keeping commitments when it comes to blogging, so I’m not going to try to make one here. My hope is, though, that I will record (as much as possible) the little things that I am grateful for each week. I hope that by doing this I can continue to find strength, even when things seem bleak.
If this experience has taught me anything, it is that the strength that we use to endure trials doesn’t come from within ourselves – it comes from the tools we’ve been given throughout our lives. Our ability to be grateful. Our relationships with others. Our relationship with God. When we are thrown into the fire, we survive not because we are inherently strong, but because we find a way to draw from the things that help us to be strong.
If you are struggling right now, I hope that you can reach out and find the strength that you need. Please know that you don’t have to endure anything alone – please don’t expect yourself to. It is not a sign of weakness to rely on outside sources to get through trials. On the contrary, I believe that this is the strongest thing a person can do. There are not people that are born strong and people that are not. We all have the capacity for greatness – it’s just a matter of reaching out to find it.