Why am I so grateful?

“Begin every day with a grateful heart.” Yeah, we’ve all heard the sappy mantras about choosing happiness. Social media seems to alternate between desperately shallow positive vibes and cruel, soul crushing memes. Considering the kindhearted people who are posting, I think the positivity is well intended and the memes don’t typically intend cruelty, but sometimes I really struggle to understand this realm of communication. So, I am not posting an online gratitude journal so that I can fit in with the many inspiring and happy posts out there. I have a story, I have struggled and I am grateful for it all. Along the way I’ve learned some lessons the hard way, and I’d like to share with you what I have learned.

The Story

My husband and I were both plant people. We grew flowers together and sold them at farmer’s markets. It was a beautiful life and I still grow flowers, but in June 2018, I lost him to cancer. The love of family and friends that enveloped me was phenomenal. I took a week off from markets, and rested as much as I was able, but the plants were so pretty, I had to take them to the market. Going back without Ed was difficult and I did not sell very many plants. The market wasn’t really about the plants at that time, it was about my husband. Ed had been going to the market for over 20 years and was loved by everyone there. So, most people came into the stand and wept when they heard the news. The Regional Market became a place where Ed’s life was remembered and celebrated on a weekly basis. It was beautiful, and it was hard. Many people gave me advice, some of it conflicting. Lots of people wanted to help. But the advice I am offering was not offered to me. I knew I needed to face my grief head on, but at the same time, I refuse to drown in it. Sadness is to be expected and cannot always be avoided. Waves of emotion ebb and flow. It is ok to be sad, but sorrow leads to a crossroads where a choice must be made.