This Thanksgiving, I have so much to be grateful for…

I recently celebrated my 53rd birthday. It’s not something that I usually volunteer. It’s not a milestone you would ever think about – but it was a huge one for me. You see, my mother was 53 when she lost her battle to breast cancer. So I have been associating the number 53 with a death sentence. Although my birthday has come and gone my mother’s death hovered over my mind for years.

These negative thoughts created a non-reality, fear-based attitude has left me feeling more anxious each day as my 53rd birthday approached. I feared how many more years do I have left to live? My father also died in his 50s. I wonder if there is a genetic component. I “jokingly,” told my husband I will celebrate my 60th birthday if I live that long.

I was very close to my mother and blessed to have a wealth of wonderful memories with her. She was a Holocaust Survivor who taught me the value of family and to always be there for each other, no matter what. My mother was always there for me. She was incredibly helpful and supportive during my childhood and child-bearing years. So naturally with this upbringing, when she became ill, I was there every moment I could be –by her side. I was with my mother when she learned of her diagnosis – as well as when she took her last breath. Somehow I sensed I needed to sleep in the hospital with her during her last night. So yes, 53 was always a number of anticipated disquiet and uneasiness for me.

However, today the number 53 has a whole new meaning to me. At 53, I have just become a grandmother to a beautiful, sweet, delicious little girl. I
was with my daughter throughout her entire journey: from the moment she read the plus sign on her pregnancy test, to each OB-GYN appointment, to participating in the delivery room. This tiny bundle has brought me so much love and joy and a reason to feel so positive and strive to live a long healthy life.

I have a new perspective on my relationship to the number 53. This dreadful number has now become a symbolic number of the age I am as a grandmother. It has now become a symbolic number of joy, happiness, optimism, and all the glorious emotions that come with watching the miracle in the birth of a child.

We tend to look at things through eyes that can be blurred with contorted thoughts and beliefs from emotional scars, which we created ourselves. These thoughts and beliefs create a fear that does not exist in reality but conjured by our own mind. Logic dictates that since our minds can create these negative thoughts and beliefs, it could also create positive thoughts and beliefs. The most important step is becoming aware of these negative thoughts that misrepresent reality.  This changed perspective gives us the power to put a positive twist to them and thereby recreate a new positive, fulfilling and empowering reality. If we can focus on changing our perspectives -our thoughts and beliefs, we gain the power of no longer being controlled by fear -and can clearly see and embrace that which brings us inner peace and outward joy.

Change your perspective, change your mind and realize all you should be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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