As I grossly noted in a previous post, I am finally coming out of the hell that was a stomach virus. A 24-hour virus that lasted 4 days. Nice. Maybe make that 5 days since I still can't bear the sight or smell of anything that isn't toast or broth...
As I was pondering my gratitude for feeling so much better than I did a few days ago, I thought it so unfortunate that we humans fail to value--or even notice--life's blessings until they are gone. We never notice how cool it is that we can run and walk and move freely till we throw out our back or blow a knee gasket. We never notice how awesome a 75 degree day is until the day arrives when (as grandma always said) "this cold would freeze the balls off a brass monkey." We never notice what a blessing our friends are until one of them moves, departs, or otherwise takes leave from our life.
I hesitated to use the word "blessing" in this post for fear of sounding dorky or hackneyed. It is one of those words that gets both thrown around loosely by Oprah and new agey people, and thrown down weightily by Pat Robertson and other religious people, to the point that its essence gets a bit muddied. Is it some treacly state of being where you walk around throwing fairy dust on people (Blessings to you!), or is it reserved only for those who use it in the divinely-imparted context (The only Entity doing any blessing around here is G-D himself)? Its meaning has been hijacked in so many ways that it can be easy to forget what a profound word--and concept--it is.
I'm not sure of the precise definition (and I'm not going to look it up because SSHaggis has an inviolable policy of not mimicking 8th grade term papers by including any verbiage indicating, "Websters Dictionary defines 'blessing' as...."). All I'm saying is that, here on Day Five of my 24-hour virus, I was sitting watching TV, wearing sweatpants, looking like hell, eating my soup...and feeling nothin' but blessed.
To my mind, feeling blessed involves nothing more than having gratitude for the state you're in. Sure, I could look better these days. Hell, I could look better most days! I could be eating a large pizza right now, in my palatial 12-bedroom home overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with money just streaming into my bank account through no real effort of my own, yadda yadda yadda. I could not be sitting watching The West Wing squeamishly, hoping the soup sits right with what used to be my friendly digestive system. All of this and more could be mine, but would I feel any more blessed than I do right now?
Gratitude for an immune system that (finally, when it gets up the nerve) fights off scary viruses, letting me finally eat some soup and get back to the business of living.
Gratitude for family and friends who helped out with a little person shrieking for her mommy when all I could do was lie in bed and squeal for my own mommy.
Gratitude for having a home, a bed, a mommy and a little shrieking person in the first place.
Gratitude for the makers of pedialyte. It tastes like ass, but it does the job.
Gratitude for a good night's sleep, which I am hoping I am finally about to get.
Gratitude for having an outlet like SSHaggis (and good folks like yourselves) for sharing said gratitude.
In the end, I think Buddha may have said it best, this "blessing" thing:
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.