My thoughts for a contest based on a quotation of why we should be thankful
Because I so strongly believe in positive thinking, I simply had to enter this contest when I read the quotation it was to be based upon:
"If you can't be content with what you've received, be thankful for what you've escaped."
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This particular quotation is one that hits home for me one hundred percent. The family in which I grew up, which consisted of my father, mother and a sister who was six years older than I, provided me with an education more powerful than any I had ever received in school. By and large, it was a very negative education, one which I would not wish upon any child. Yet...it provided excellent fodder for the growth of a firm "survival instinct" within me.
Not surprisingly, when I graduated from high school, I went to college and majored in the field of Sociology. This helped to open my eyes about what makes people "tick" and gave me a lot of insight into my family members. From college I went straight into a job in social work and was thrilled to be able to have a positive impact in the lives of the people assigned to me. In my thirties, after getting married and having a baby, I quit my job and turned to being a foster parent. More than 30 children who spent time living in our home, were the recipients of unconditional love and hopefully became healthier and happier adults in part, from our love.
I am now a 62 year old "senior citizen" and am no longer employed. Instead, I am a doting grandmother to my son's little ones..ages one and three, when I am able. I have weathered many storms, but one of the biggest moved into my life this past August when I learned I have leukemia. That diagnosis, along with the many weeks spent hours away from my loved ones while undergoing treatment, has been the biggest challenge I have had to face in my entire life.
I would be lying if I said I have no fear about my disease. It is something I wouldn't wish upon anyone, yet this was given to me! Can I possibly even begin to be "thankful" about having received this? In all honesty, I did not receive the news with gratitude. More than anything I was stunned! The chemo to kill the cancer cells also kills all my good cells as well, leaving me vulnerable and open to infection...a fearful thing.
Yet, I've chosen to be positive and content with having been given leukemia. While it hurts deeply that I will likely never see my grandchildren grow up, I also realize on a much larger scale, how precious life really is. I have grown to accept and be content with my illness because I am thankful I still have time with my family...unlike so many who leave their homes in the morning, only to have their life snuffed out instantly in a car accident or from a heart attack.
I feel fortunate to have "escaped" an instant death sentence and realize that even having a life-threatening disease is far better than what could very well have come my way. I will never know what horrors have passed me by, but I am ever so thankful to be living in a day and age when oncologists have cutting-edge treatments to provide me with.
Today is the only day we have. Let's not waste it!