My friend Ginna is a spitfire. Shy of five feet tall, she has white-blond hair, wears black eyeliner, and speaks her mind. She’s from
(pronounced Leb-non) and speaks with a Lebanon, Tennessee twang. She is kind, has a heart for serving others,
and is a warm, companionable friend. But when she is angry or indignant at an
injustice, watch out. She is going to tell it to your face, just exactly as she
sees it. Tennessee
Ginna has, to my mind, been going through a rough patch. She’s just been through a difficult break up, struggled with a drawn-out sinus infection, and yesterday faced an emergency root canal. “Worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life,” she drawled last night as she rested in a cloud of antibiotics and Lortab. What did she do after the root canal? Went back to work. I would have been home on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my face.
As I talked to her I said, “Wow, you’ve really had a rough time lately with the break up, needing to move, being sick, and now this.” This was Ginna’s reply: You know, I have had a little bit of a tough time but I have this friend who is going through treatment for breast cancer. I bet she’d take a sinus infection and a root canal any day. I have and will have a roof over my head. I have the means to pay for this root canal. And doctors who can help me get better. I’ve got nothing but gratitude.”
That, my friends, is a spiritual life. It really is about perspective, living in the moment, and gratitude. And I thank Ginna, in her energetic way, for reminding me. I’d still be home, horizontal, with the frozen peas on my face if I’d had that root canal. But I hope I’d follow Ginna’s example into gratitude for the peas, for the doctor, and that my tooth could be saved. And the couch I’d by lying upon, and the roof over my head, and the loving little dog by my side. Gratitude. And perspective.