The past several weeks my youngest brother has been in the hospital facing life threatening diagnoses and very scary medical treatments. The scariest thing he has had to face though is the dangers of being in a hospital. The number of errors and missteps is astounding. My brother has been very stoic and calm. His poor wife on the other hand is an exhausted frightened woman. His kids are terrified. I am 3,000 miles away and it has been very difficult to sit around waiting for test results and reports on what the medical professionals have done wrong for the day. I know they do a lot that is right too but it is almost unbelievable. I won’t make this a rant about hospitals. What I wanted to impart is that living with gratitude in the face of all this is not easy. But, as my visiting pastor said yesterday at church, “you have to decide to _____ (fill in the blank).” I have decided that I want to live with gratitude so I make every effort to look for things daily that I can be thankful for. So, for my brother Bobby I am grateful that you are my brother. I am grateful that you have a wonderful family. I am grateful that you have had a career making music, which has been your life’s passion. I am grateful that you are not in pain. I am grateful that the doctors are trying to do what is best for you. I am grateful that I can come sit with you and discuss your decisions about treatment. Now, for my daily mantra— I am glad to be alive and healthy. I am grateful that I have a loving family. I am glad that I have a job that I enjoy. Life is good. Lucky I live Maui.
Pastor Makuakane I am so glad that you spoke yesterday. I hope others will decide to live with gratitude and despite challenges look for ways to be grateful.