Gratitude for Moments that Shake Us and Awaken Us

Dad posing with daughters

This is my cousin, Trevor – an almost 40 year old adventurer, father of two beautiful little ones both under the age of six. And, this is a story about awakening — those moments in time when we are awakened to live life fuller, packed with more meaning and significance. It might be attributed to a chapter of life taken from our own stories or maybe something we’ve simply experienced through another. Most recently for me, it was the latter; but either way, we all have these moments of awakening and they certainly teach us a little something about how to live life to the fullest.

This post has a happy ending. Trevor is healthy and loving on his sweet family so, so well. I simply hope his story reminds us all of how precious life is and can help us revisit those moments that awaken our souls and allow us to regain perspective we all need from time to time.

In the weeks leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak, Trevor began experiencing severe migraines and pain. He was admitted to the hospital, endless tests ensued and there were signs he had suffered a stroke, some bleeding in the brain was apparent and a critical brain operation was desperately needed to resolve an abnormal connection between the veins and arteries in the dural arteriovenous fistula covering his brain. He lives in a fairly remote area and was airlifted to a nearby hospital with surgeons who could perform the operation.

Surgery was performed, and all went well. Trevor was a trooper and spent the next several weeks recovering in and outside of ICU. He was discharged after much healing progressed and is still on the road to a full and complete recovery but doing tremendous in that respect.

Learning about Trevor’s fight shook me to my core. It awakened my soul in a way that only these close calls can, to what truly matters in life — our health, our spirituality, our family and the people we love and have the opportunity to live life alongside. We all have these moments throughout our lives – big and small awakenings – but it’s what we do to alter and change the course of the way we live after we experience them that matters most.

What I love is knowing that Trevor is enjoying this peculiar shelter in place time at home with his beautiful family. I’m sure this time means more to him than it possibly could to many of us.

The battles of our own and of those who we love dearly, serve as an important awakening of our souls to live, to do, to serve others in a way that we too often forget. It ignites a fire to be a better spouse, a better parent, a better friend, a better sibling, a better boss, a better person. If only we could live every day awakened with that sort of perspective top of mind. How often we forget to be grateful.

I hope Trevor’s story inspires you. I hope it allows you to recall and revisit your own moments of awakening. I hope it causes you to pause, breath deep and remember just how important it is to maintain balance and perspective in this one life we have to live. We could all use a little bit more of that during these uncertain times, as it reminds us all to be thankful for what we have.

Written by Ashley Murphy