I recently met a little girl with a limited life ahead of her. The account of our meeting I posted on social media as she gave me a lot to think about. I have shared it below.
Do words relating to the tragic and sad experience that she and her family are going through fit in a blog post about Gratitude?
I think fits and has a place. The meeting helped me to see that having gratitude in my life helps with connection to those around me. Gratitude has helped me to cope with the challenging and stressful times in my life. It helps to build compassion, resilience, opens the door to reality (acceptance), and facilitates so many coping mechanisms that inner resilience can only be strengthened.
When I was faced with the horrendous situation of breaking up my parents partnership and putting mum in a nursing home due to her demise in health and rapidly approaching Alzheimer’s. It was gratitude that helped me cope with the situation. I was still stressed, I was still in pain and I was still facing the most difficult time of my life. But I worked through the time with gratitude. It helped me stay in the moment and when mum had her good days we could connect. When she had her bad days I would focus on Dad and the fact that we had made the right decision. Reiterating the gratitude for our support network. It helped me to look at things in a way that I would not have before. I would have probably fallen into depression, and a huge case of “whymeitus”
Here is the post
She Told Me She Loved Me.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting a young girl of around eight years old her faster than the speed of light younger sister and her grandparents. I sat with them for around 15 minutes and as we spoke she said.
Is your name Elizabeth?
No I replied It’s Elaine.
That’s a nice name but can I call you Ellen.
The conversation was easy the little girl was a wise soul in a body bloated from steroids, helping her fight against a brain tumour. She had a feeding tube and she was in a wheelchair, she could still walk but needed the chair as she got so tired.
She told me she had enjoyed the football match it was her first time seeing a live game. She was already in love with one or two of the players and the whole atmosphere of a match day. We spoke about football and how I had watched my first match when I was her age and I had loved it too. She told me she had to take a nap in the second half as she was tired.
Her Gran gestured that she did indeed tire really easy.
She told me how her sister was always a pain but she made her laugh and they loved each other.
She told me how she was always happy. Her Gran nodded and spoke with nothing but love in her eyes.
“She really is the happiest little girl you will ever meet. No complaints no arguments she smiles and is happy all the time even when she is in pain”. I believed her.
She wore sunglasses to protect her eyes from the bright lights in the room but she took them off to look at me properly and get to know her new friend. She showed me her tired eyes and as I looked into them.
She told me she loved me.
I replied instinctively I love you too.
I am a Sheffield girl born and bred. We didn’t do the soft affection growing up. It was play fighting and rough and tumble. We are more likely to call the bus driver love than our nearest and dearest we don’t really do all that “love” malarkey. I obviously love my family and I tell my husband and children I love them all the time. But I have never expressed verbally love for strangers at all.
In that moment I did and there was a shift.
It was true heartfelt love of one human being to another.
I didn’t feel pity or sorrow for her.
I saw beyond the illness. I knew I was richer for those few moments of speaking to her.
I do believe that her love for me was true at that time as was mine for her.
In that moment, I learnt so much about allowance and acceptance, allowing a person to be their whole self no judgement. She didn’t judge me for who or what I was, she just loved unconditionally.
Our interaction lasted a few minutes making an impact as I reflected during the following days on our conversation and the interactions with her grandparents. I realised that she taught me to deepen my acceptance; no hidden agenda for a conversation, no ulterior motive just a conversation in that moment. I will probably never see her again but
I will remember her for a long time.
I will remember her lessons for the rest of my life.
I will take forward the lesson.
To accept and to be in the moment. To allow my soul to be open to strangers to allow my love to be shared, not just with my family and close friends but to share love from soul to soul with anyone who needs it and wants it. If they don’t want it then they probably need it more so I will send them love from my soul to theirs.
It didn’t matter that she changed my name.
It didn’t matter that she was in a wheelchair,
It mattered that she taught me a lesson.
It mattered that she told me she loved me.
I am grateful for our meeting and the lessons taken.
Our meeting prompted me to create the 30 day gratitude challenge as I realised that when faced with very sad and heartbreaking situations. Gratitude is the key to building resilience, it gives a bigger heart to share the love I feel for myself and the world around me. It gives me the ability to step into acceptance and detachment.