How To Find Gratitude In The Midst Of Heartache
With thanks to our Cazinc Blog community, I have been speaking to another inspirational woman, gorgeous Kerrie Atherton, who is the founder and host of Stories of Hope, Australia and a Youth Educator in schools.
Kerrie is going to be a regular writer for Cazinc Blog, starting with this beautiful story of how she found gratitude while her mother was dying of cancer. A story I loved, a story that I hope you will too and one which will remain with you forever.
Here is Kerrie's beautiful story.
It had been the hottest westerly day on record in the summer of 2009 in Sydney. As my Dad, brothers and I walked up the path of the Greenwich hospital to visit my Mum on what would be one of my last visits with her, everyone was complaining about the scorching heat. But inside, my heart felt very sad and I was nervous and scared of seeing the state my mother was in. Living in Queensland, I hadn’t seen her for a few weeks and I didn't know what to expect.
As I walked towards her room in the palliative care ward, I saw the large old expansive windows which she would stare out of as she laid in her bed. Looking through the windows was her only connection with nature and life in world beyond the hospital. The windows were open wide that day and as I entered her room, before our eyes even met, the hot westerly wind unexpectedly wafted gently through.
My mum breathed in the fresh air, looking so blissful. I imagine she was recalling all the happy moments of her life and the way it used to be. The time when her world was perfect and she enjoyed the summers of a carefree life before cancer ravaged her body, sending her to the bed in the palliative care ward.
It was as if this was a moment of divine connection to her world outside, one that she knew she would never come to experience again. As she breathed in, she whispered, ‘Oh the breeze’ with a look of extreme contentment on her face. She seemed to savour that moment for what seemed like a lifetime. I stopped in my tracks and tears fell down my face as I thought,
"The heat that the rest of this country is complaining about is the one thing that means the world to my dying mother at this very moment."
For me, that was the biggest lesson of gratitude right there. I will treasure that moment from my dying mother for the rest of my life, and it will always be a reminder to me of
how we can all experience beautiful moments in the midst of ugliness, and in the middle of trials we can still experience times of gratitude and joy!
Kerrie Atherton is an Inspirational Speaker, Author, Event Host, Counsellor and Influencer. Kerrie has overcome much trauma in her own life, which has led her to become specialised in the field of addictions for over 30 years, besides working with troubled teens in schools on the Sunshine Coast for the past 11 years. Last year Kerrie founded ‘Stories of HOPE’ which positively impacts hundreds of people each month. She empowers everyone she meets with resilience and inspiration and the tools needed to help them overcome adversity in their own lives which in turn brings purpose and HOPE to change the world around them.