The Art of Gratitude


Grace Dow

It’s the time of year where many of us think about what we are thankful for. Cerebral palsy has allowed me the privilege of having a unique perspective on gratitude. Having cerebral palsy has allowed me to appreciate the little things in life. Simply having the ability to speak, or even to eat my favorite foods like macaroni and cheese, a juicy burger, steak or fresh baked cookies is something that I am grateful to have the ability to do. 

Cerebral palsy has also made me especially thankful for my family. Cerebral palsy has not made my life easy but having my family by my side has made it easier. Whenever I have had a doctor’s appointment, physical therapy appointment, or operation, my family has always been so loving, caring, and supportive. My family has been there through it all, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. For all of them, I am eternally grateful. I am forever indebted to each of them. From my uncles to my aunts to my grandparents and cousins, I am forever blessed to have them all. I am grateful for my younger sibling, who despite getting on my nerves, is someone who I love very much. To be able to watch someone grow up has been a unique opportunity.

 I am especially grateful to my parents for everything that they have done for me. I never could repay them the unconditional love and support they have shown me. They have worked so hard to allow me to be where I am today. If it wasn’t for my parents, I would never have been able to fulfill my dream of pursuing a higher education.  My parents have always made sure that I have known that I am loved. My parents have always made sure that I had food to eat,a place to call home, and clothes on my back. I love them both dearly and am fortunate that they adopted me. Blood doesn’t always make a family; love is what truly makes a family.

 In addition, I am grateful for my friends.They are the ones who make me laugh and give me a chance to have fun. I find fun in the most mundane of situations, because of my friends. When my friends and I went to a museum in the summer, we all found humor in the experience despite not enjoying much of it. We all enjoyed laughing heartily and often while walking around the museum. We enjoy each other’s company no matter what we are doing or where we are. My friends and I have much in common, but we are also different which is part of what makes it so much fun to hang out with all of them. For all of them, I am thankful.

As I have grown up cerebral palsy has allowed me to have a unique perspective on the art of gratitude. While it can seem difficult at times, it also is a blessing in disguise.