“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.“
Have you ever Googled yourself? I know that its an odd thing to do but usually when you do it you find out that there is someone with your name that lives the other side of the world and seems to have a much more interesting life and profession than you do. Not so long ago I googled me and I, the real me, came up first in on the page. This genuinely shocked me, surely there was another Janet Pullin out there who had more to say, more fun to share, more ‘life hacks’ to impart to the world, but apparently not. So the number one search result for Janet Pullin is a 53 year old women from England who has been emotionally smacked about a bit by life over the past 4 years and if you read my blogs, especially the original ones I wrote after Jacob’s death, you might argue that I have little to be grateful for.
We all have trauma of some sort, whether it is the death of loved ones, financial insecurity, relationship struggles or mental health issues. No one on this earth is immune to the waves of life. It is easy to be consumed by this trauma, and some days it is all you can do to keep your head above the waves. Days where you think that your spark has gone out and can never be lit again. I have had those days, we all know people who have had those days or are having them right now, so how can we feel gratitude?
I recently listened to a piece on gratitude, on what we can be grateful for. It didn’t talk about possessions or jobs or holidays or money, it talked about people, the people that help relight your spark, who walk with you no matter what. Some will come into your life for a period of time, some will come into your life and you will walk the entirety of life’s path together.
So what am I grateful for?
My faith sparks my life. I will admit that after losing Jake my faith was rocked to its foundation, I was taken into the depths of myself and I was so lost and angry, for weeks all I could say is why? I hear you ask, how can I still believe? I believe because my faith is the one thing that really gives me hope. This world does not give me hope, things do not give me hope, many people do not give me hope, but when we lost our son, God sent a torrent of loved ones to us, people who waited patiently for us, who cried with us, held our hands. My faith… no, my God has shown me that this is not the end, that beyond this place is an eternal light where we will never be put out. My Christian belief gives me a reason for being and gives me people with shining souls to travel with.
Soulmate and little lights
To say that I am grateful for my husband and children would be an understatement. After the death of a child many marriages fall apart, broken heart become broken relationships and broken homes. We knew that it would be difficult, that some days would be hard to bear. We, as a couple, made a conscious decision to cling to each other rather that to push the other one away. It is not always easy, but marriage is not an eternal round of flowers and hearts and long moon lit walks on the beach. We know, as a family, that we are damaged people, but we are not the only ones and after the things we have had to endure we have every right to be damaged.
I am grateful for my children. For the 24 blessed years I had with Jake. For the continuing blessing of Joel and Evie. That we continue to be a family, the five of us and that Jake is still alive in all of us. I am grateful for my beloved mum and the wonderful relationship we all had with her and the years of laughter and joy she brought to me especially. She was an example of an independent women who herself was tossed about by the storms of life but survived. And of course her undying love and devotion for her family.
Our walking buddies
To my last breath I will be grateful for those who have walked this life with me, to those who ran to us in our hour of need. Who stayed with us, fed us, loved us and prayed for us. I often wonder to myself how one woman can have such a wonderful family. Those who are related to me by blood and marriage and those who have become as dear to me as family.
It’s funny how you don’t realise how wonderful people are until you hit a brick wall. How the world is full of truly great, kind and compassionate individuals. We see so much that is wrong with our world, so much selfish and power grabbing ways, but there is also so much good. Little acts of generosity, angel voices whispering hope into your ear, long hugs that speak a thousand loving words. I have experienced and felt so much love for myself and my family that gratitude can be the only response.
To be grateful does not mean that you forget, that the things that have scarred you have magically disappeared. It just means that you are grateful for the people that held your hand during the hard times and grateful for those who continue to hold it still.
So I say thank you to all of you out there that helped rekindle my spark and continue to rekindle. To my faith, my family, my friends, your are a blessing to me; may we journey together always. I am and will ever be, eternally grateful.