It was the second night in a row I dreamt about my grandmother, both dreams so vivid and real it felt like she was still alive, still present, still around in my life. She’s been gone for a little over 7 months now and I can’t tell if that feels like a long or short time. I’ve had other dreams involving my grandmother; in fact, just last night I had one and a week prior another. But this one I want to talk about was different. In fact, it’s probably the only dream of its kind that I can remember.
If I can categorize dreams I would call this one instructional. It was a straight out lecture and it was something I was supposed to get. She was sitting down in my dream, just sitting there looking at me; there was no introduction that I can remember. One second I’m sleeping, the next she’s talking to me.
And what she was telling me was simple and powerful: Enjoy and appreciate life.
That’s it. Over and over, sometimes in different ways (and I can’t remember precisely how she put it) but always with the same understanding that I was to get up in the morning, every morning, and recognize the amazing gift that was simply waking up.
I was to remember this throughout the day and embrace the opportunities presented to me because I was ALIVE!
She was adamant and passionate that I have a grateful attitude and recognize that I had to choose this attitude daily.
Life Gratitude List
My grandma’s message to me, and my message to you, is to put on the attitude of appreciation, of thankfulness, of gratitude every single day.
I woke up that morning in awe of the dream and the message. I lay in bed and did what I was told. I began by expressing my thankfulness to God for the sun I could see peaking through my curtains—it was a indicator of another opportunity to appreciate life. I then started listing all that I was grateful for:
* My wife and children
* The roof over our heads
* Our jobs and the great year we’re having
* Papa and Grandma Millie
* The difficulties in our lives that have strengthened us
* Our dog, Kiana
It only took a few minutes to reflect on these and by the time I was finished, swung my feet over the side of the bed, stood up and greeted the world I felt like a different person than the one that had crawled into bed the night before.
When you wake up grateful you live the day grateful.
When you wake up grateful you live the day grateful. You see things through the day that you recognize as that which you should be thankful for. You appreciate the beauty around you. You look at the challenges in the people and problems you deal with as things you will be grateful for in the future. Grateful living is a whole different mindset and it’s a game changer.
My grandmother passed away on February 13, 2012. Of anyone she has contributed the most to my view and approach to life. She’s helped me be a better me by showing me how to process and understand, work through and release, accept and forgive. I don’t doubt that she’s proud of me, I know that she is. It doesn’t stop me from trying to work harder to show her how much she means to me and how thankful I am of her.
My grandmother is always on my list. Who and what’s on yours?