Can you experience gratitude during times of loss, tragedy, or hardship? Yes, you can. This past year was difficult, emotional, and at times trying for me. I found that having an attitude of gratitude made dealing with the circumstances possible

In my lifetime, I’ve had occasional hardships, but I think the most difficult time is when there is a loss of family or close friends. That was my experience this year when I lost my 46-year-old son, Eric, to terminal brain cancer. Although, the attitude of gratitude kept me afloat.

Eric fought bravely against this disease for over two years, maintaining a positive and hopeful attitude the entire time. I am grateful to him for showing me how to love, laugh, and demonstrate strength and courage through adversity, knowing that he would, someday, be with his Father in heaven.

During that time, many gave of their time, love, and resources to both my son as well as to my wife and me. In this blog, I wish to give my gratitude to one family who went beyond what I would have ever expected.

Maggi and John are Eric’s cousins. He had moved to Arizona to find new opportunities for employment and for a change in scenery. Eric was living with them temporarily when the doctors discovered his tumor. His cousins offered to have him stay with them for the entire duration of his illness. He had access to better health care in Arizona than he would have if he had lived with us in New Mexico.

These two angels really went out of their way to care for Eric. They made sure that he was signed up for all the appropriate insurances and programs he was entitled to. They provided him with a home and fed him. They took him to all his doctor appointments and made sure he took all his medication. They kept him engaged and active, taking him on outings and encouraging him to continue his hobbies.

During the two years that Eric was staying with them, they even opened their home to us. This allowed us to spend time with Eric and have a place to stay. While we were staying with them, they slept in their RV and gave up their entire home to us.

We have never experienced such kindness and love as what Maggi and John provided to my son and us. They are true givers and have demonstrated to us genuine generosity and I will be grateful to them both for eternity.

The other place my attitude of gratitude comes from is my employer – netlogx. I am grateful to them for being flexible in my work schedule, allowing me to work remotely, providing much needed support during this challenging time, as well as the opportunity to write and share this blog regarding my gratitude to those that gave of themselves.