Why wait for the storm to pass? Get out there and dance in the rain!
Rowan was the eternal optimist. He always looked on the bright side and, amazingly, he usually managed to find a bright side! He wasn’t brought up by religious parents but he was probably one of the most naturally ‘spiritual’ people I have ever met. Perhaps this is why he was taken from us so suddenly on 26 December 2012. Perhaps he wasn’t destined to spend very long on this earth. I’m guessing the old adage ‘he was an old soul’ pretty much applied to him!
We, as parents, spend a lifetime trying to teach our children all about life and its pitfalls but have you noticed? Our children are the teachers – they teach us what life is all about – and life is all about love and consequential happiness – the two go hand in hand. The first time you feel your baby kick; the first time you catch sight of its beautifully formed wee body; the first smile; laugh; word – all these things are unbelievable, mind-blowing, joyful, happy crafted moments all tied together with a huge, surging, tummy-turning tenderness that takes over your life.
Not long after Rowie died I was introduced again to Jodie; the daughter of an old friend of mine in the UK. She introduced me to many things and she changed my life completely. I want to tell you about one of the things she introduced me to – ‘The Gratitude Game’. This game helped me through the early grieving process and helped our family to begin to laugh again.
At the end of every day I sat with a piece of paper and listed the things that had happened that day that I was grateful for; some of them sound so asinine in hindsight, but at the time they were tiny little threads that I could weave together to form a safety net. I started putting these ‘grateful’ sessions on Facebook and I started getting replies from people which proved to be an extremely cathartic process for me. People started telling me what they were grateful for too. These wee messages expanded my consciousness – I became aware that I wasn’t the only one struggling with the day to day process of putting one foot in front of another. I was grateful that people shared their journey with me.
Gratitude is a magnificent way to show love. Buddha said ‘With our thoughts we make the world’. This is so true. If we tell ourselves every day about the things we are grateful for, we are changing our inner self; in turn this affects our family, our friends and their friends and their families…..a little like the ripples on a lake. Pretty soon our little bit of world is beginning to feel just a little bit happier! When you realise how powerful your thoughts are, you will never think a negative thought again!
I love Chris profoundly (I can say this because he never reads my blogsJ) and I am hugely grateful for his continuing support. I have spent 26 years being grateful that I am a mother – a mother to Francis. He is an awesome son. He has shown such enormous strength, courage and love over the past year. I have spent nearly 18 years being grateful that I am Rowan’s mum. I am still Rowan’s mum and I am still inordinately proud of him and his achievements. My two beautiful sons have taught me so much about unconditional love, about grace and about gratitude. For this I am deeply grateful.