During the month of November, I see my Facebook newsfeed filled with “Days of Thankfulness.” This is where each day they share what they are thankful for. They do this for 30 days.
That is fine. But, what about the other 11 months of the year? Why just express it during the month of November?
For me, November is not a month I want really want to celebrate. Instead, it is one which brings me mostly sadness. However, in these moments of sadness, I’ve received one of the greatest gifts of my life.
WHAT DID NOVEMBER DO TO ME?
Nearly 12 years ago, I lost my sister, Kerry Lynn, to Cystic Fibrosis. I still remember being in the hospital room at that moment. I was sitting beside my mother and my brother-in-law. My husband was standing by the foot of her bed. It was quiet. It was peaceful.
Earlier in the day, many friends and family had been filing in and out of her room. After hours of prayers and vigil by her bedside with many family and friends, my brother-in-law said she needed to be alone with just a few of us. We all knew it was her time, but she was not willing to let go. Not in front of everyone as if she were on display.
At around 4 pm we ushered everyone out of that small room. We turned off the music and kept the lights low. In the darkness, we spoke to her. We all told her that we would all be OK without her. In that moment, we gave her permission to stop fighting. We cried and told her that it was her time to go to heaven and that she should not be scared to let go. She was tired and we all knew it.
I still remember watching her chest go up and then go down…….and remain still. I tapped my mom and asked her if she was seeing this. My husband slipped out of the room and brought a nurse back in. She walked over and gently placed the stethoscope on my sister’s chest. She shook her head and we all knew she was truly gone.
I’d never really experienced much death in my life. And never had I been with someone in their final moments. My mother was witness to something I hope to never experience. She was there when that beautiful girl drifted into her life and there when she drifted out of it.
I was sad in a way I did not expect. I really never cried. Then again, I am not much of a crier anyhow. I’ve mourned her, but in the mourning, she’s given me an amazing gift.
THE BEST GIFT MY SISTER GAVE ME
It is so ironic that in her death, I received the most amazing gift I could ever have wanted. My sister gave me the gift of letting go of anger and replacing it with gratitude.
I learned how blessed I truly was. I am healthy and so are my kids. We did not have to fight like she did. She fought every. single. day. She fought to stay healthy and to live a normal life.
While my life was not normal (I mean, whose is when you have a sibling fighting such a horrible illness?) it was still good. I had such love from her. Even with all she had to go through, she still found a way to love others and not feel sorry for herself.
When she passed, I had to let go of the hate I was holding in my heart. The hate was not for her. Not even close. The hate was for that illness that God had made her have. I had to stop being angry at everyone for what she had to go through. I had to let go of the hate and anger it made me experience.
Instead, I had to look around and be grateful for the blessings in my life. I learned how to look past the bad and focus on the good.
Letting go of the hate and learning gratitude is a gift I will treasure for the rest of my life. Life is too short to hate and be angry.
NOW, I CELEBRATE AND REMEMBER
November is slowly becoming an easier month for me. Instead of focusing so much on the sadness, I am focusing on the good in my life. And, like I said above, I have my sister Kerry to thank for that.
So now, when I wear my thankful – grateful – blessed tee, I am reminded of this. I forget it even says this until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. That usually makes me smile and think about those things that make me grateful.
It isn’t often an article of clothing can make me smile, but this shirt certainly does. And now, you can experience the same.
Cents of Style is giving you one of these shirts for FREE! They want to help you think about your own life and hope that the daily reminder on your shirt helps you with that. Here is how you can get yours:
- Visit the Friday Deals page on Cents of Style. Add the shirt to your cart (select your color and size).
- Shop the site and add $25 worth of items to your shopping cart.
- Head to checkout and enter the code THANKFUL1. You will see the total drops by $29.95.
- Finalize your order (where shipping is free every day).
That’s it! That is all you need to do in order to get yours. Grab a few things you need for gifts, maybe even stocking stuffers, and get your tee for free!
Celebrate the life you have and be grateful the gifts around you.