As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, many have turned their thoughts to what they are grateful for. But after losing everything, this LDS woman shows what it really means to show gratitude in all things despite having no material possessions.
It was the summer of 2010 when I was awoken at 3 am by a loud crash and the sound of my little sister screaming. I ran downstairs and saw three feet of muddy, murky water in my family room with more rushing in by the second. I calmed my sister down and we quickly saved what we could. Her journal, scriptures, and a few pictures. Everything else was ruined. My mom’s wedding dress, old family albums, TV’s, furniture, you name it—gone. A flash flood had caused a dam to break just north of my home. The first house in its path was mine, and 23,000 gallons of water is not very forgiving.
My mother’s reaction to the scene has stuck with me ever since. I watched her closely. I thought she would see it all and break down in tears, and rightfully so! Her home was ruined. We didn’t have a ton of money, definitely not enough to fix the mess. She scanned over the scene before her, took a deep breath and said, “It’s just stuff.” She hugged my sister, dad, and me, and we went to work.
That experience, traumatizing as it was, taught me many great lessons. Lessons that I try to emulate in my life, and that have helped me learn to find gratitude in all things.