being grateful for just being alive and well

This morning, I read a news article about a cancer fighter passing away after two years battling lung cancer. The feed was shared by Thuy Muoi, a person I follow on Facebook who is a cancer fighter herself. I had known about her in the past after reading inspiring news about her phenomenal success as one of the most talented start-up entrepreneur in my country. A few years later, I saw her name on the news again, this time about her being diagnosed with stage-IV cancer. Courageous and strong-minded as she always was, she decided to not only win the fight and become a survivor but also contribute to the research and raise awareness about this deadly disease so that people in the same situation could stand a better chance of being cured and improving their quality of life. Both of these cancer fighters kept a journal to share with other their struggles and hardship, but above all their optimisms, gratefulness and love for life.

Reading those brave but heart-wrenching blog posts is such an awakening moment for me. I realize that I have been whining so much recently that I forget to notice how fortunate I am. How blessed I am to have such a darling little daughter, a caring husband, a supportive family and a job that pays. How blessed I am to be alive and relatively healthy. How blessed I am to be able to do things that many people are still dreaming of such as studying abroad, travelling to many stunning places, and having life-long friends.

True that I am at a low point in my life where I feel trapped and stagnated, where I make no progress for a few years, and see no escape route in the near future, I still have so many things that many people are praying for. True that my parents are quite dominant and always want to interfere with my business, they have the best of intentions and I should be thankful that I still have them to depend on in the darkest of time. True that my husband may be thoughtless at times, he is faithful and loves me unconditionally. True that my baby might cry too much every now and then and she is such a light sleeper, she has the cutest smile that always melt my heart; she also brings hope and purpose to my life, and represents the future, I should be thankful for that. True that my job sucks and it has been eating away my time, energy and patience, I can retrain and find something more meaningful to do later once the time is right.

So this is a note of gratefulness to my life. It is not perfect, far from it, and I need to work hard to fulfill my dreams, unlock my potentials, and get what I want. This is also a note of revelation that I have been given so many things, I have taken so many things, but I have given back so little to my family, and even less to my community and life. This is a note to declare that I love my life since I was in tears when trying to imagine being in the other two ladies’ shoes. I am thankful to be alive to witness my daughter’s amazing developments, to be there for her first’s. I am thankful for every morning when I wake up, next to my dear little daughter, kissing her, hugging her and having her nagging around; she’ll grow up fast and leave before I even realize. I am thankful to be able to breathe easily with no fear of losing my breaths any time soon. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a fridge full of food. I am thankful for having all the loved ones in my life and know that they are safe and sound as well.

So thanks to those women whose love for life and will to survive also shed light on and inspire others as well. I hope you’ll win and make history (those you already did). I also secretly hope my daughter can become a doctor too so she can save people (though of course I’ll let her choose to do whatever her heart tells her to do).