Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lost and Found: Gratitude at Starbucks

Today I was having one of “those” days.  Nothing felt right.  I wanted to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head.  It happens sometimes – not often but each time it does, I feel lost not knowing how to rid myself of the blue feeling.  Usually, I just push through, putting one foot in front of the other.  This too shall pass, right?

This morning I took a different approach.  I went to Starbucks to sit for a few minutes before beginning my day, hoping that a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of waking, feeding and dressing two precious boys would give me the space to take a deep breath, shed the proverbial funk and start my day anew. 

I had already planned my Starbucks visit, picking out my chair (oh how I hoped it was empty!), mentally ordered my coffee and hoping they got the order – how wonderful it would be if my coffee ready and waiting for me when I got there! 

When I walked into the coffee shop I immediately scoped out the scene – Yes!  my seat was empty and waiting for me.  My coffee wasn't ready yet (what?! They didn't receive my telepathic order?).  However, there was only one person in front of me – that would just have to do.

In less than a few minutes my hot coffee was in hand and I was on my way to my seat. There was a woman in a wheelchair blocking the entrance to the cluster of chairs I was headed towards.  No problem, I just had to finagle a little to get my large backpack containing my laptop through the small space between her motorized chair and the leather seat at her side.  I managed, looked back and gave her a smile and made my way to my seat. 

When I sat down I noticed the woman in the wheelchair was looking at me, and smiling.  I smiled back again.  A few minutes passed and I glanced over again and she was still smiling at me so I smiled at her again.  The longer I sat there, aware of her presence, I realized her smiling face was just what I needed today. 

How many blessings had I overlooked this morning alone to get to this spot where I am now?  I can’t ignore the fact that I walked into Starbucks, a luxury this woman grinning back at me did not have.  And, here come the tears. 

You see, there was a time we thought Michael, my two and a half year old son whom I wrote about here, could not see or hear and wondered if he would ever walk.  I know what it is like to have a child in the hospital.  I have spent countless hours at his bedside as he recovered from major surgery or fought off an inexplicable infection.  I have listened to the doctors as they have given me prognoses that were bleak, at best.  And, I distinctly remember promising myself, over and over, that when we got out of the hospital I would never take another day for granted.  

But, today I forgot my promise.  I took this day for granted.  Not only do I have two healthy children at home, Michael is doing phenomenally.  He can see.  He can hear.  He doesn’t walk yet but he will.  Michael didn’t smile until he was eighteen months old but now he smiles all the time.  He is making HUGE progress.  And, he loves his little brother, smiling and outstretching his arms anytime Sam is near him.  He rubs his head against Sam’s cheek and shrieks with joy.  It warms my heart just thinking about it.

Today I was reminded of my promise never to take another day for granted at Starbucks by a stranger.   My heart has been restored to a state of gratitude.  I have no doubt I will need another reminder, I am only human, but I hope and pray that my next reminder be as gentle as the one I received today from a beautiful, smiling woman in a wheelchair.

From our family to yours-