How To Take Nothing For Granted

What do you take for granted?

Gratitude has been a theme that I’ve posted about here before, and I’ve thought recently about things that I should be grateful for, but sometimes take for granted.

One thing I’ve normally taken for granted, because its always been good, is my wife’s overall health and well being. This changed recently when she had a visit to our local ER with some tightness in her chest, and shortness of breath that we originally attributed to pine pollen.

There’s a history of heart disease in her family, and on our doctor’s suggestion, we decided to be safe rather than sorry, and go to the hospital. Even if pine pollen was the possible culprit.

Although she looked great in a hospital gown (she could look good in a paper bag), the both of us would have rather not been there. Aside from the events of having our kids, my wife does not go to hospitals, or doctors’ offices.

While waiting for test results, I was hoping for the best, but there was cause for concern. It is a subject I’ve never thought about much: I’ve always taken for granted that my wife would always be healthy, and be around to take care of us.

I’ve always looked after my own health. Fighting with elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol, it’s part of my game. My wife didn’t need to be concerned about such things, or so it seemed.

Thankfully, all of the tests (we’re talking blood, CT scan, EKG, etc.) came back with good results, and this was a scare we no longer had to worry about. I’m very grateful for the test results that portrayed her as an almost perfect physical specimen, and promised myself I’d always show gratitude for her health as long as she has it.

Something else happened here. I realized there are many other times that we all take most things for granted. It seems as we get older, we have to come to terms with that sometimes the most important facets of our life are the ones we assume will be a constant.

I thought about little things that I’ve taken for granted, that I can no longer experience. Like the hundreds of times my grandmother made me coffee, and poured it at her kitchen table. And sliced a piece of cake to go along with it.

That was a normal part of life for me, always there. So it got taken for granted. You can reflect on the past, but that experience is now gone. And with that realization, you should be more aware of what goes on now.

I make the coffee now, or my wife makes it. We do it the same way my Nonna did, brewing it with the espresso pot on top of the stove (it’s the best way to make coffee!), and it still tastes great. It’s just different.

A few weeks ago, I was walking through my dining room, and accidentally kicked my son’s baseball cleats that were left by the table. Ordinarily, I would have only noticed it in passing, but I stopped to look at them, and to think.

I thought, those shoes will only be there briefly. Someday, they will be gone, replaced by bigger shoes. And then, when my kids are grown and out of the house, they won’t be there at all. There will be just an empty space on that floor.

I took in that moment, without it being taken for granted. And I was happy to have it.

The little things in life are truly amazing, when you take the time to consider.

I feel like a cup of coffee. Right now.

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