Friday, February 01, 2008

now is that gratitude? (homework assignment #1)

Creative Writing class homework assignment #1:
Gratitude - what am I grateful for? What is gratitude?

Now is that Gratitude?

I always thought 'being grateful' and 'being thankful' were synonymous. I used the words that way; interchangeable, really. Then, I saw Kevin Everett and realized the difference.

Kevin Everett was a player on the Buffalo Bills football team. On opening day, versus the Denver Broncos, Kevin went for a tackle and was hit by an opposing player. If you watch the tape of the play, you can see his body go limp. He fell to the ground, his body involuntarily convulsing, then stillness. After several minutes, Kevin was carted off the field. In those several minutes, his life was saved.

Team doctors and a specialist on the scene immediately injected Kevin with a saline solution to lower his body temperature. This would slow blood flow and swelling, ultimately saving Kevin's life.

Initial reports regarding Kevin's prognosis were dismal: likely to never walk again, may regain movement. However, within days, Kevin was able to move his hands and his fingers on his own. He was able to flex his foot, and, with help, bend his knees.

Today, Kevin Everett is able to walk on his own.

How can 'being thankful' be enough? 'Thank you' is so easy to say. Yet, in this case, it seems inadequate: 'Thank you' to the doctor on the scene who had the presence of mind to lower Kevin's body temperature? 'Thank you' to his family for modeling determination and perseverance? 'Thank you' to the doctors, to the fans, to his teammates? Gratitude is something much deeper, lacking definition.

I am thankful to have a roof over my head. I am grateful to have cheap rent.

I am thankful to no longer be in an abusive relationship. I am grateful to have been in one.

I am thankful to have such a great family and great friends. I am grateful to have such a great family and great friends.
(written 01/27/08 rmd)

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