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A Celebration of What Didn't Happen

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Michaelis

My sister, Dee, and I accompanied my oldest sister to a doctor’s office, where she was getting the results of a biopsy. We were nervous and sure that some malignancy would be found. At best, we were just hoping for a non-aggressive type of skin cancer. After the nurse took the stitches out, we anxiously waited for the doctor to arrive. He arrived with a big smile on his face. I thought he was either flippant or insensitive. He opened the file and read the report, “No malignancy!” The sense of relief was palpable for all of us, including the doctor, who said he was surprised too. Well, what a great day! The three of us went to a restaurant to celebrate what didn’t happen.

That type of good news in a doctor’s office is not unusual. The beautiful words like remission, cured, and not detectable, are music to our ears. But do we think on a daily basis about what we are not facing? You look around the waiting room in any doctor’s office and feel great relief that you don’t have another’s diagnosis. A grateful heart is not hard to maintain when we think of the challenges that are not ours. There is an ancient Jewish parable called the Trading Tree. It tells about entering into heaven with the offer to change places with another soul and then come back to live their life. As it turns out, no one wants to trade lives with an unknown individual with their challenges, losses, and grief. Each person offered the trade decides to keep his own life, with the good and the bad. Do we rejoice not only in the good things that happen to us, but in what has NOT happened? That’s good too! Every day is an opportunity to celebrate life, even with personal trials. So, rather than waiting for good news, realize that you already have so many things to be grateful for that you can have a daily celebration of what didn’t happen!

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