Today, I want to take a difference stance on the gratitude list. Today, I am grateful for my body, my anchor to this world, because it allows me to be here. I am even grateful for my body’s weaknesses, because it is what has allowed me to be where I am today. It has put me in position to open my heart to the children who are suffering from childhood cancer, to follow their journeys on Facebook, and to be able to pray for them. Right now, I know this is what I am supposed to be doing. It feels right. And I am even thankful for the sadness that comes with it, when I find out that a child has passed away. It just makes me more determined to see the end of this monster.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the fact that the child is no longer suffering, but I am so sad for his or her family and friends. I am also very sad for this world, because a light has been blown out in it. The world will never again have this child or his or her unique gifts. Thoughts like these bring me down, yeah, but they also make me fight harder, so that maybe one day, there will finally be a day when seven children will not die. And that day will be just the beginning. It starts when a childhood cancer diagnosis does not mean a death sentence, even if the cancer is DIPG (brain stem cancer). Instead, a cancer diagnosis would be just a bump in the road. It will be treated and the child will be cured of it.
I very much believe I am a different person than I was before I started following sick children. I am more centered, focused. And maybe I am not the best judge of this, but I do try not to complain about anything anymore. Why? Because I know things can be so much worse than they are. Because I know I could be dead. And I am thankful that I am not. Everything that I have been through has made me the person I am today, and the same goes for everyone else. If we stop to think about it, we will always have more things to be grateful for than we do things to complain about. And what good is complaining anyway? Chances are, nobody else can make it better for you but you.