This is what gratitude can look like. A moment captured between my daughter and her dad who are overcome with emotion, feeling thankful and appreciative for the simple fact that they could both be present for this day.
Only a few weeks before, her dad had suffered a medical emergency that required her and her siblings to be brought to the hospital to say goodbye before he was transported to a more advanced facility, just in case. I observed terrified looks in their eyes as they hugged and kissed their dad goodbye not knowing if it was the last time they’d see him.They tried to be brave and hold back the tears but they began to spill out before they could leave the room.
They looked me in the eye asking me if their dad was going to be ok. I could only tell them that I did not know, because that was the truth. I couldn’t fix this, or even give reassurance that our lives would ever be the same; it was a time of uncertainty. In those moments, all of the mundane things and disagreements didn’t matter anymore; all we all wanted was for him to survive.
If only we could hang onto these moments of gratitude, of feeling so thankful and appreciative. The moments when the realization that none of our tomorrow’s are guaranteed. Maybe we would stop putting off being “happy until” because “until” may never come. Maybe we would wake up with the simple appreciation for just that, that we woke up. It is so easy to lose sight of one simple fact: each of us has only so many minutes and seconds on this planet, and most of us don’t know when we’ll go.
With all of the demands of everyday life, I am just as guilty as the next person of not always remembering to be grateful. When things happen that we don’t always welcome, or when people disappoint us, it can be hard to remember. It can be hard to keep that deep appreciation for life and the people all around us that we love. It can be hard to remember that one less minute you spend angry is one less second you have to be happy.
This season is centred around joy, love and happiness. It is one of the few times of the year that many people make time to be with family and friends, and this is what I love most.
With this in mind, it can also be a time that brings to light struggles/differences within families, relationships and friendships. It can be easy to get caught up in the little things that annoy us about each other, and forget the bigger picture of what each relationship or person adds to our lives. This photo reminds me that as we navigate through this season, should we encounter situations or conflicts with the people that we love, there is one important thing to consider before we respond: if you were faced with the possibility of not having a tomorrow with this person, – would what you’re upset about today really matter ?