I’m Lucky To Be Sad

    • 17
      Jan

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    Gram and I after an eye surgery this fall

    A trait I cherish is my ability to be optimistic through challenges.  This trait has proven to be a necessary ingredient to accomplishing my goals and continuing to set new ones.

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    There are though, times in life, that we need to just be.  We need to feel what we feel.  We need to be angry, hurt, mad, frustrated, confused or whatever else we need, at least for a few moments, in order to recollect and decide what is important.

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    Last week, my grandmother gave us all a scare.  She was found unresponsive one morning.  She was rushed to the hospital and she was able to be taken care of and she is doing ok.  But, since the moment I received word that they found her unresponsive, my heart has gone through stages.  At first, I was worried, almost in shock.  Then I was upset.  Then my feelings turned into sadness.  And that sadness has lingered a few days.  And it isn’t like me to hold on to any negative feeling for more than a few hours.  And so I found myself thinking about why my heart was being so stubborn.  And, I realized why.

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    I am lucky to be sad.  I am sad because I know that one day, whether it’s tomorrow or 10 years from now, I will lose my grandmother.  And she has been such an important part of my life that my heart doesn’t know quite what it will do when it doesn’t have her smiling face to visit.  I realize how fortunate I am.  I have been blessed with having the guidance and love from a woman who has been stronger than anyone I know.  She went through the depression.  She and my grandfather built their home by hand, one brick at a time.   She can still tell you how many bricks it took to build their 4 bedroom home.  She raised 4 children on my grandfather’s salary.  He worked for Ford Motor Company.  She helped each of her children when they experienced their own life pitfalls.  Loss… divorce… change.  She brushed my grandfather’s hair and rubbed his arms and legs with lotion everyday he was in the hospital prior to him passing.  She showed an unwaivering commitment to him- staying by his side, even in the most difficult times.  After he passed, she could have fallen apart.  But she picked herself up, and learned how to get around town through shuttle services (she never learned to drive).  She joined a few support groups and made new friends at the age of 80.  She maintained our apple orchard well into her mid 80’s (with the help of my uncles), working out in the yard and up in the trees from early spring to late fall.  You can see what a strong person I have had the privilege of learning from.

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    Charlie and I with gram on Christmas

    So, my heart has been sad, but it isn’t a bad sad.  It’s a good sad.   Because I know how lucky I am to have this incredible woman who has believed in me, stood by my side and encouraged me every step of my life.  I’ve always wanted to be successful- to make her proud (and my mom and dad!).  She was the first person I told about being selected to give a TedTalk.  She didn’t know what a TedTalk was, but she could tell I was excited, so she was excited.

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    And, I look back at my life, and I think of the times I have been sad.  They have been, not because something bad that happened, but because I had something good in my life.  When I was 21, I dated someone who I loved deeply.  It didn’t work out for us, and when we broke up, I was nearly paralyzed with sadness.  I didn’t want to leave my bed.  I found it hard to even just go through my daily needs.   But, I realize now, that I mistook that feeling in my heart.  The sadness wasn’t because I lost something.  It was the feeling of knowing I had the chance in life to experience something divine.  Something amazing.  Something great.   To this day, I am still grateful that I got the chance to experience love so young in my life.

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    And so, I’d say I am lucky.  My heart is sad this week.  But it isn’t because of anything bad.  It’s because of something good.  I have the most amazing grandmother, and I am so grateful for the time I’ve had, and will have with her – no matter how long or short that will be.

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    Gina (my BFF) with my gram last summer

    Many things that have felt like sadness, are truly just my heart recognizing that I’ve had something incredible in my life.  And so I am lucky for that sadness.  Because with sadness comes love.  With sadness comes passion.  With sadness comes gratitude.  And love, passion and gratitude are what takes sadness from a painful place to a place of peace.

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    The next time you feel sad, think about why.  Perhaps its because you have had such an amazing thing or person in your life.  Don’t think about not having that thing or person any more, but just how lucky you were, for even a moment in your life, to be blessed by that gift.  (and remember, it’s ok to be upset, sad, etc for a while.  Just don’t choose to stay there forever).    If you can see gratitude in a moment of sadness, it will change your perspective, and it will help you to move forward.  And it will help you turn any form of pain into a place of peace.

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    Thanks Gram.  You have always been, are and always will be, my ray of sunshine.  Every time I hear the song, ‘My Girl’ (I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day), I think of you… and I smile.

     

     

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