I feel like that Ernest Hemingway quote sums up my life very well right now.
Here I sit, in my house with my family, all of whom are healthy, well fed and happy. I have a job with a regular income and although I'd probably be thought of as "working class poor" by many, I know that I'm really rich beyond all my expectations.
Five years ago, I had very few earthly possessions. I was exiled from my home and from many of the people I loved. Three months after that I lost all of my remaining hearing.
I've spent these last years fighting so hard to come back from all of that. I found a home, got my job back, fought for rehab services, fought to get ASL instruction, started attending ASL lessons, fought vertigo and so much in between.
I always knew I was blessed, but honestly, knowing something in your head, and feeling it in your heart are two totally different things.
Something has changed though, and I know I'm blessed. Even though Katrina and what happened after and the loss of every thing was so devastating, I can say that the experience also blessed me so much. Losing my hearing has totally change my life, but it has also blessed me and allowed me to grow in ways that I couldn't have imagined. Was it painful? Hell yes! But in the end, it was worth it. This year I went to Seabeck and had such an amazing opportunity, and met so many different people..
So what I'm trying to say in this TL;DR entry is that I'm grateful. Not just for the good stuff-- my family, my friends, all of you here in EljayLand. I'm also grateful for the not so good stuff. It is by going through the not so good stuff that I found the best thing of all.