This I Believe

Gail - Paducah, Kentucky
Entered on October 31, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: gratitude

I have always thought of myself as lucky. Lucky to be from a big family (I am the youngest of ten). Lucky that my family values education and reading. Lucky to have had teachers who cared. Lucky to have gone to a great college. Lucky, lucky, lucky…sure I worked hard and put my best foot forward, but I was lucky. I had the perpetual optimism of youth and inexperience.

Until my brother died suddenly of a heart attack, nothing bad or tragic had ever really tested my luck. His death absolutely took the wind out of me; I was in shock and grieving for myself and my other siblings and my parents. Even so, I was lucky to have good and caring friends and teachers in my last semester of my senior year of college who supported me in my grief. At a time when grief left me unable to focus, my support system helped me through. Now, 13 years later, I have been thinking about luck and my brother. How was that lucky? Well, I was lucky to have him as my brother. I always felt protected by him and I knew that he loved me, even now. I have a beautiful niece who looks so much like him and has the same big personality and love of life. I also took my own health much more seriously, especially as I became a mother and now as I reach the age he was.

Lucky. I think I have finally figured out what I mean when I say that word. L – love, the kind of love that is optimistic and sees the silver lining, a love of hope and possibilities. U – understanding that not everything will go exactly as planned and to go with the flow. I can thank a big family for that insight. C – chance and choice are in a tie. Chance leaves a bit out of my hands, but choice is completely in my hands. It is my choice how to react and choose to see the possibilities. K – karma, since I do truly believe that when you do good things, then good things are more likely to come back to you. Y – you, you, you are the most important part of how lucky you are. I am seeing that I am lucky to see the bright side of a situation. In art, I always loved “happy accidents” that I did not plan, but turned a piece into something better than my plan. So, yes, I am lucky and I hope you choose to be, too.