As the days progressed they were filled with both grace and gratitude - and vulnerability and a humbling that I’ve never known. The nurses at Westchester Medical Center Trauma ICU were the most lovely, caring, giving people I’ve ever known. I remember thinking to myself, how can they have so much compassion, how can they be so kind, so incredibly supportive - I’m a total stranger to them. But they were - day in and day out. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the middle of the night they showed up with compassion and a smile - and I was filled with so much gratitude.
I remember being grateful for everything. Everything big like the pain meds that were administered at exactly the right time every day and everything small like the lovely lady who didn’t speak English but came in every day to sweep the floors of my room and always smiled a kind, gentle smile at me.
It was impossible for me to be anything but grateful because I was alive. I wasn’t run over by the car, and even though my face was badly bruised - nothing was broken. Other than a procedure to stop internal bleeding, I didn’t require surgery. I may have a limp but I will walk, my arms will work, my ribs will heal, the bruises will fade. I had a window in my room and I watched the sun rise each day. I learned very quickly to put things into perspective and the perspective for me was found in gratitude.
I recuperated - at a remarkably fast rate. I went through rehab gratefully and with relative ease. I found beauty in everything and everyone I came in contact with. For the first time in my life, I truly understood the full meaning of gratitude - and it healed me.
Now, a year later I still hold on to gratitude though to be fair, sometimes it takes a little more work and a lot more mindfulness - but I can never let it slip away. I’ve learned the importance of being thankful, of taking it one day at a time, of not taking things or people for granted. I learned to be intentional about my life.
I’m 61 years old and I am entering a big, new phase of my life - one that is going to be lived ‘out loud’. And saying that as an introvert is not easy but it’s how I want it to be, it’s how I will make it be. To live out loud to me, means to live intentionally, to not hide behind being an introvert, to be out in the world - to be seen and heard. To share whatever gifts I might have to learn from others to be a participant in the world.
I don’t agree with society’s antiquated definition of aging. How can anyone possibly tell us how to do something that’s so personal. We’ve lived on this planet for some time and as far as I’m concerned not only do we have more time to go, we have a lot to do!
And I thank you for visiting and possibly even joining me on this journey.