G. My Gabriella. My Gratitude.
“As I look back on my life, I am filled with gratitude. All the sadness, all the joys, all the failures, all the triumphs, have created who I am today. I am the beautiful soul God has created me to be…. And I am truly blessed.” ~~Linda A.
I have been struggling with writing about my G, my Gratitude, because of how incredibly amazing I have been feeling lately. It is quite overwhelming, really. And I don’t feel like I will ever be able to find the exact words to describe what I have been feeling, and what I need to say about it. Everything on the outside looks normal, very regular. But something inside of me has changed. It’s like a lightbulb that has been burnt out for years, has been replaced with a very new one, a very bright one. Only it’s more like a wildfire has been unleashed within me. I know it began when my grandmother passed away. There was a sudden realization that occurred, that life ends for each of us. And that someday mine would end. And I didn’t want to die, being the person I had been for so long. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t who I really am. But it was the only person my children had ever known. It pained me greatly, to think that I would die, and they would think this person they had known all their lives, was really me. I had spent all my life to that point, working very hard to live right, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, be nice. Although I still believe in this system of thinking and being, it wasn’t looking how it was supposed to look, it wasn’t how it was supposed to be at all, somehow. I worked hard jobs, often two at a time, trying to take care of my responsibilities. I worked hard to raise my children “right.” I taught them to work hard, have goals, be ambitious. As I had been taught. I was always driving all of us harder and harder. Of course, because I had grown up in poverty, I wanted better lives for all of us. I love my children with all my being. As each of my children came in to my life, they became my whole life, my whole world, my whole existence. And this person that I was having to be, wasn’t at all who I wanted to be with them. So I started making changes in my life. We went through some rough patch, some years that really weren’t a patch at all, it was more like a huge, gaping black hole of lava and quicksand. If there is any place lower than rock bottom, that’s where I was. I couldn’t pull myself up and pull myself together. My children endured, while I continued to struggle with my battles and demons. What I could see my children going through, only made me keep falling deeper and deeper into the self-loathing and unworthiness. The more I struggled and tried to fight it, and tried to get solid footing, the worse it got. I was suffocating. I was dying a long, slow, painful death, on the inside. And then something happened. It was the arrival of my grandbaby. She changed everything. Suddenly the light that my own children had brought into my world, was shining on me again. Brightly. Fiercely. No more, the light said to me. No more. It’s over. It’s done. And just like that I was off and running. Changing things in my life again. Mostly myself. Leaving behind all the baggage and garbage and pain. That was seven months ago. The most beautiful and amazing seven months of my life. This is when my Journey of Vision, Gratitude, and Adventure truly began. I have been working tirelessly, with a determination I have never known before, to change our stories. On the outside, everything looks average and normal. But it’s not like that at all. Every day is full of small miracles. Only, now I can finally see clearly, crystal clearly, that they are no small miracles at all. They are huge miracles. Grand, grand miracles. I thank God all day, every day, that I had worked so hard all those years to build a strong foundation with my children. It is the only thing that got us through those darkest days. The love, peace, joy, hope, and happiness that I experience now run through me like a wild, roaring river. For this, I may never be able to find the words to express the depths of the gratitude that I have. There are no words powerful enough. My children and I face each challenge that life tries to put before us, as a team, standing strong for each other. Is there anything else in life that really matters?? For me, the answer is no. And so I persevere, with the help of God, all day, every day. With his help, I have found my own courage, my own strength, my own power. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I am finally the person I have always wanted to be. The person I was meant to be. And I am changing our story. Thank you, thank you, thank you God, from the depths of my soul, I thank you.