In late 2015, a year post-transplant, my physical health had improved, but mentally and emotionally, I still struggled with survivor’s guilt and depression.
My counselor suggested I try a 365 grateful project: each night, for a year, write something down about my day I was thankful for. So I did.
On January 1st, 2016, I began the project and used random scraps of paper tossed into a basket. After a few weeks, I put a cube of colorful notes into service and used an old Mason jar for a container.
As the bottom of the jar filled, the weight I felt lessened. I caught glimpses of light through the veil of darkness that seemed to cloak me. There were some days, like on August 9th, all I could write was one word: Nothing.
Fortunately, that was the only day I couldn’t come up with even one thing I was thankful for.
On January 1st, 2017, I opened and sorted the notes and relived the previous year, one day at a time. I found messages from others who had added their notes to the jar; each one a heartwarming hug on that cold winter morning.
Seeing and celebrating the good in my life every day, even in small ways, I experienced firsthand the extraordinary power of gratitude.
I could not ask for more.
This is the 49th story in the Objects as Waypoints Writing Project series.