Its been difficult to find the time and energy to write. We are still struggling against the new normal that has been thrust upon us. I am thankful to still have some weeks left off work because I can’t imagine throwing that back into the mix. There are many updates, but tonight I wanted to focus on my grateful heart.
The heavy burden of grief has been made lighter by so many countless friends who continue to shower my family with love, prayers, and support. Both our spiritual and temporal needs have been met over an over again. Words fail me when trying to express my overwhelming gratitude for each and every person who has reached out to take my hand and touch my heart these last few weeks and months. I have been so humbled in so many ways. It has been a challenge to say “thank you” instead of, “no thanks” to these many helping hands.
Before Brian died, the mother of my childhood best friend reached out to me to say that she had refinished some antique furniture. She was planning to sell it and wanted the proceeds to go to my family. My other best friend’s mom got on board and this beautiful outpouring of love blossomed into a huge benefit for our family. I was privileged to spend the whole weekend back home seeing people from all phases of my life. I felt true joy as I hugged so many beloved friends of mine and my family’s. I realized how cared for we are, and how dear to me that small town I came from really is. I so wished Brian could have been there, but he never was one to be the center of attention.
Additionally, I was contacted by a woman I have never met. She introduced herself and explained that each year, her family hosts a Christmas light show at their Dunlap home. They have a donation box out front and all proceeds go to a family in need. She said they learned of our story on Facebook and were touched by our fight to rise above our trials. I am so grateful for this additional blessing. Its just so crazy what is happening. Please check out the stunning Gawelek Christmas Light Show! It really is amazing. So much time and talent goes into this display. I don’t know this family yet, but they have such giving hearts.
I read a quote by Brene Brown that said, “what separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” Gratitude has been so profoundly important to me during these trials. It has been one of my saving graces. The scales could so easily be tipped to despair if I lost sight of gratitude, but I feel that it is privilege that has afforded me the opportunity to receive so many blessings. I am privileged to have been raised in a wonderfully supportive family, by two committed parents. I am privileged to have my education, to be able to express myself in writing, to share our story, for my nursing career, the connections I have been able to make to advocate for Brian and myself. The fact that when I do go back to work, I can make enough money to support our family is a miracle, as is our access to healthcare and the best doctors I could hope for. I worked hard for most of these things, but there are so many people going through trials just as difficult and worse than what we are dealing with, who do not have access to all of the resources that I do. I am looking for small ways to pay it forward while I am trying to get my feet back under me, and these are the people I am looking forward to being able to help. I have been given many gifts and its my challenge and responsibility to figure out how to use them to help other people. That is the way Brian lived his life and the legacy I hope to continue for him.
Health updates to come, but all will be well. Thank you as always, for the continued prayers. They are sustaining us always.