You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. -Sheryl Sandberg

I recently had the opportunity to listen to Sheryl Sandberg (the chief operating officer of Facebook) on Ellen recently; up until then I had no idea who she was.  She was talking about grief and the sudden death of her beloved husband.  Her words spoke to the depths of my soul.  I was already having a difficult day navigating my own grief; I was curled up with Katy’s Rock star blanket and watching daytime television. As a busy working mom that is not something I have the opportunity to do very often.  I may have feigned a headache to allow myself that time with my grief, since a headache is far more acceptable than taking a break for a broken heart.

I was meant to hear the words Sheryl spoke.  She spoke of resilience and gratitude.   She explained that resilience is like a muscle you can build on it, for when you need it.  That analogy was just what I needed.  I often fear that I will reach my limit… I question God and the universe on how much can I take?  It feels like my resilience is tempted over and over again.  Just when you think you can’t take another hit….BAM! A Homerun out of the park and my resilience muscle is tested once again.

She spoke of gratitude and how important it is even on your darkest days, hours, minutes it is essential to find the positives in your life.  For me my gratitude is tangled in with my guilt. It’s extremely difficult for me to find and bask in the good fortunes of my life without feeling guilt for having that speck of happiness. For instance, my biggest, proudest, achievement is that I am a mama to three beautiful children.  I had the honor to be chosen to be the mama to Katy, Patrick and Riley Kate.  They are my greatest gifts. I am so thankful that after years of infertility miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy.  I was finally blessed with a beautiful baby girl.  Katy made me a mama and her life although much to short made me who I am.  I learned so much from my oldest daughter.  Her life was filled with enormous struggles.  She had to endure so much during her six years and she did it with such grace. She also lived a pretty spectacular happy life, and for that I am so thankful for. I am thankful that I have two HEALTHY children here on Earth. I am so thankful I do not have to split my time between home and hospital. I would do it all in a minute if it meant I would have my Katy Girl back with me, but since that is not possible I am grateful that part of my life is behind me. I’m grateful and a little guilty.