a person overlooks a magnificent sunset

How Lucky Are We?

The other day, I was sitting watching the birds and squirrels visiting the feeder and I thought about how lucky I am to be alive and to able to enjoy this day. Before you get all caught up and say living with COPD is not lucky, let me remind you that every day is a gift.

Losing 4 friends

Life is a privilege denied to too many. When I was first diagnosed with COPD I lost 2 good friends and while I was in the hospital, I lost 2 more. It was devastating to me because losing 4 friends meant that life was changing, and everything changed, but not for the better. I didn’t even have time to properly mourn my losses because I too was struggling to stay alive.


Some days when I wake up and I think about what they would do given the privilege of another day. How happy would they be to enjoy their children and grandchildren for one more day? Would they eat the forbidden foods and use fine china? I think they would embrace life and their version of life would be filled with laughter and joy. They would not waste time on sad and silly worries.

Who were they?

They were wives and husbands, parents, and grandparents. They were mourned by families, friends, and communities. When they left, they left a tidal wave of tears and broken hearts that mourn them to this day. They have missed the trials and triumphs of those they loved and left behind. Their absence has been felt every day since they have left us.

My gratitude

My deep gratitude for life rose from these losses. I realized how lucky I was to have missed the reaper and been spared death to enjoy my grandson, my greatest reason for living. It’s not just the big things either, sometimes it is the little things too. Walking outside in the fresh air. Hearing the birds in the morning. Watching the neighborhood activity from my living room window.

Gratitude journal

Even with the COVID threat hanging over our heads, I can still find reasons to be grateful. In fact, I have so many reasons to be grateful that I started writing them down. Soon this became more than one page and after 3 pages, I bought a book to write it all down in. Now, I find creative ways to write in it every night before I go to bed. It is a different journal than my health tracker that tracks the triggers that cause my COPD to get worse and better. This journal is about the good things that happen every day. There are so many things to be grateful for every day.

Feeling grateful

Gratitude is being thankful for what we have received, without the need for more.  It allows us to feel positive emotions and appreciate the good experiences. It improves our health and allows us to build stronger relationships. Gratitude is associated by many with having a better, fuller life.

Can you find something to be grateful for today, despite your COPD?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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