A brush with near death leads naturally to a time of reflection and an outpouring of gratitude for recovery. Here is what happened.
Image credit: Alexas Fotos on Pixabay.com
Music credits: Storyblocks.com "Soft Emotional Piano Quiet Storm"
"Wistful Thinking," by Lance Conrad
Yesterday, I ‘sprung’ Dad from 8 days and nights in a hospital stroke ward. His care was exemplary but accompanied with the necessary indignities of hospital life. He’d had a mini-stroke, an embolic shower – as they call it, and his recovery was rapid - thankfully. However, it’s a massive warning for us all, and the future will be filled with blood-thinners and eight other pills, potions, and inhalers that will keep his heart rate more stable and his brain stroke free.
That nicely sets the scene for what came next: gratitude for today.
When we picked Dad up, we asked him what he wanted. He was crystal clear: a proper cup-of-tea, a two-hour shower, a decent night’s sleep, and… crispy prawns in sweet chilli sauce!
The latter one was the only challenge. Marks and Spencer’s Food Hall was an immediate ‘fail’ and it looked like Waitrose was going to get nul points too! Gratitude flowed when I finally found the desired dish (as I’d wondered to myself whether I could face Sainsbury too if Waitrose joined the UK in that famous dreaded Eurovision phrase.)
This is an emotional time for the family. We naturally reflect and ask ourselves, “What is truly important?” For Dad, what is appreciated is quite ‘small’ on the grand scale of things. He’d forgotten to mention good music. He lives his life wrapped in the most magnificent classical music cocoon. After a season with Haydn, Beethoven, and, of course, Mozart, he emerges reborn.
This has been a very long build up to a very simple call to thought. What small things are important to you? 8 days of deprivation was enough for Dad to become clear on the niceties of life that make each day sing. For me, it’s the shower, the posh coffee, privacy, quiet, creative freedom, wine, Icelandic wheat beer, olives, good cheese, time freedom… nothing here to make anyone say, “Wow, what a guy!” It is mainly simple stuff that I’ve come to cherish.
What would be on your list?
In addition, two BIG shifts have happened for us.
The first BIG thing for me was an instant hike in my gratitude levels. EVERY cup of coffee using my favourite brand (with cream) is now a celebration. EACH moment in the shower – with my Goats’ Milk Soap – a cause for rejoicing. EVERY sip of my favourite beer or wine. EVERY moment of quiet or privacy…
The second ENORMOUS thing was a re-assessment of time. Mum’s gone. Dad nearly went. We’ve got friends and family facing life-limiting illnesses and there seems to be loss all around us. The long-term plans are diminishing in importance. In their place, there is a bright and joyful focus on commitment to and gratitude for today.