Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strange Gratitude

By Kellie Meisl
This is a post about the gratitude that we experience in strange places, places where we don't expect to feel gratitude, but do, then feel a double dose because it was unexpected.

For instance, I feel gratitude quite often when I go to McDonald's for a cup of iced coffee. There are two McDonald's in town, and one in a neighboring town, nearby the highway I took to see my mother while she was in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery. It doesn't matter which one I go to, because at all three the people are always extremely friendly, and tell me to have a super day. I can tell they mean it. That really helped when I was getting on the highway for another jaunt to the hospital, and it really helps when I stop by for a morning pick me up on my way to care taking now, too. 
The coffee is delicious, Paul Newman's organic, and affordable! How can I not feel grateful about my happy little indulgence having so many positives?

Just today, I felt grateful for big, black, garbage bags. We have been cleaning my mom's very large home out, both indoors and the yard, and it is so nice to know that I can grab a big bag, fill it, and it will contain all that is meant to move on. I can then easily carry it off to my brother's truck where it will be delivered to a dumpster, by him, leaving us all with less baggage. Big, black, garbage bags are a godsend.

Even though my mom's gardens are overwrought with weeds from a year of her being unable to work in them due to illness, I find myself on my knees, grateful, plucking out weeds. The smell of the earth and greens, with the monotonous motion of the pulling, lull me and take me back to a simpler time when my head was full of hope and possibilities. Can it be this hope is returning?

Even though I would have never wished heart surgery on my mom, it has found me grateful for my family. I am grateful for my sister, who stayed overnight in the hospital with my mom, taking exceptional care of her; she took care of all the little touches that made my mom comfortable. She even made my mom homemade iced tea right in the hospital room, with the cup of hot tea they gave my mom with lunch, and brought her favorite cinnamon donuts and crosswords everyday. Then she brought my mom home and got her house all in order, making sure my mom has everything she needs. She is exceptional with paperwork and medical equipment. I am so grateful to have such a capable, caring sister.

I am grateful for my brother who is willing to take the night shift at my mom's though he works two jobs. I am also grateful for the continuous maintenance work he does on my mom's very large house too, and for the dozens of bags of garbage he has hauled, acting as if it is simple.

I am grateful that my mom is healing and that she is letting us take care of her without too much complaining about us moving her things and I am most grateful that she has changed her lifestyle to heal better. It takes a lot of courage and energy to heal from open heart surgery.

I am grateful to have my mom.

Writer and visual artist Kellie Meisl lives in Pittsfield, MA. This post appeared first on her blog, WALK.

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