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October is supposed to be an awesome month! A time when leaves start changing on the trees, the air around us gets a bit less humid, my birthday is celebrated, those beloved holidays are around the corner, family is a little more present, and the kids are happy to be back in school with their friends.

Me and some of my family this summer!

Except…… October is turning out to be one of those months that I dread coming around every year. October has become notorious for stealing my smile.

In 2008, my paternal grandmother died of older age complications on Halloween. Fast forward to October 2016, I was going through a lot in my personal life that was taking a toll on me and that very same month, my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Throughout the past year now, my grandma has put on the fight for her life. She has gone through a few rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Once those treatments didn’t work, she was put on a newer medication and the medication hasn’t been successful either. Surgery has not been an option from the beginning because the tumor has been wrapped around an artery, as well as having spread to a small spot on her liver.

Today, my grandmother is at home, resting on a hospice bed, barely ever awake, and has not even eaten or drank in almost a week. The nurses are saying she may have only 2-3 weeks left — at best. I know this cunning disease is taking a toll on her body and her lifecycle will inevitably be coming to an end very soon, but I just can’t help to be hurt at the universe that it’s happening in October once again. Why? Is it coincidence? Is this how I should plan life from now on? And how can I stop October from stealing my smile every year? Well, I may have a few ideas….

#1- Focus On The Positives

I think this first step is the most important, and quite honestly, can be the game changer. I have always been someone that has been able to mentally figure out a way to make a positive notation out of any negative situation. Crazy enough though, I am only human and I do get down at times. 

I love that I can rest assured, though, that this wonderful lady lived an amazing life. She was such a staple in our family. She was vibrant, opinionated, caring, and best of all she was one amazingly creative artist and writer! 

Our house is riddled with beautiful artwork like this that my grandmother has been painting for us for YEARS! I love that I can simply delve in the fact that her artwork will be passed on for many generations to come, and that her memory will not be forgotten. I am thankful for these positives that I have to look forward to.

#2- Always Be Grateful

There are only two guarantees in life–death and taxes. (Lol!) Those are two things we just cannot avoid, anything else is simply circumstantial. Which leads me to remember that there is SO MUCH to be grateful for!

Whether it’s large or small, directly affects you or not, being grateful is one of the more simple things we can do for our own happiness.

I am grateful for the air in my lungs 🔺 the food put on my table 🔺 the love of friends, family, and even strangers around me 🔺 my health 🔺 the laughter that feeds my soul 🔺 I’m grateful for music that speaks the words I cannot say 🔺 for the struggles that come along and shape me to who I am 🔺 and for the ability to handle those struggles.

I am also incredibly grateful for the relationship that I was able to build with my wonderful grandmother throughout my lifetime. She has show me what strength and selflessness is all about, through watching her, but more through this phenomenal woman she raised who I call Mom. And I could not be any more grateful that both of my children were able to know their great grandmother and make memories that will last a lifetime. ❤

#3- Abandon Resentment

Resentment is like drinking a  poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Malachy McCourt

Whether each October has brought happiness, tears, sadness, or anger, I have found myself trying blame someone/something for it. There’s never any rhyme or reason for that, it’s really just human instinct to react as such sometimes.

(If this person did this different, then that wouldn’t have happened. If God had planned a fate differently, then I would’ve been more prepared. Since all of this always happens in October, then I can surely hate the universe for it!!)

Truth be told, those ⤴⤴exact words are what I was saying for the longest time. Let me tell you, it built a strong disdain and resentment inside of me that truly engulfed my every emotion when this time of year started to come around. But there has been hope, a light at the end of the tunnel per say-

RESENTMENT NO LONGER OWNS ME!! With the help of trying to see the positives in every situation, as well as being grateful for even the smallest things in life, I have been able to abandon resentment and truly gain a new outlook for when the next Octobers near.

Today, death is on the doorstep of someone very near to me. While my heart aches tremendously and I grieve, this October is definitely not stealing my smile. My heart explodes with too much love, so much gratitude, and positive memories. I choose to celebrate a life well lived, rather than a death. I love you grandma and I will see you on the other side!

47 thoughts on “How To Get The Universe To Stop Stealing Your Smile

  1. My granny also happens to be one of my role models. She too has struggled through her share of health issues but never seems to let that deter her. She too definitely let anyone or anything stela her zest for life from her. The smile always seems to hang around her face:)

  2. I’m s sorry to here you and your family are going through this. But, I do love your positive attitude. Sending you nothing but love in this difficult time <3

  3. I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head with your words “positive memories” What you’re going through sucks, it really does but those memories will last forever and you’ll cherish them the most when you need them. Big hugs and I hope you’re ok. xx

  4. I admire your determination to not be consumed by the situation you find yourself in. I’m sure at times it is very hard – thanks for your honesty and courage in expressing your experience.

  5. Such a beautiful post.So sorry to read about your grandma I know how hard it can be auntie underwent the same thing
    I love that you are focusing on the positives.It always nice to be grateful in life.Sometimes we a take things for granted.

  6. Oh my goodness you’ve been through some trials. Especially around this time of year. Memories and triggers are always hard. What a positive spin to put on it. thanks for the thoughtful post.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma. It’s clear she means so much to you and sounds like such a special lady. You’ve offered such an encouraging perspective on how to find the beauty in life, even in the midst of our pain. I agree that gratitude is such a powerful tool in reminding us of all the good in our lives. I love this post. X

  8. first off Hugs, second I needed this post. This past year has been one heck of a year and so much has gone on, somedays I don’t even know how to go on.

  9. I’m sorry about your grandmother. That’s so difficult, especially while going through it. So it’s great that you’re being kind to yourself at this difficult time. I had 3 of my closest relatives die within the span of 9 months. And I thought, “will this ever end.? Luckily, it did and people stopped dying. But I, of course, always remember.

  10. I am so pleased you have been able to turn that frown upside down and find the good in this time of year ago. It is a terrible coincidence with the tiin gof these events but stay positive, practice gratitude and well… resentment is useless. You’ve got this! xx

  11. I love how positive you are, it’s really important that we keep a positive mind set especially through trying times in our lives. My heart goes out to you and I’ll keep you in my prayers. That disease has taken so many loved ones.

  12. i must say that i consider myself lucky growing in Thailand known as the land of smiles. i was raised to always focus on the positive things and as an adult know, it is easy for me not to be angry and just take things one at a time! it takes time but very doable!

  13. So sorry to hear that your grandmother is suffering from this horrible disease. Cancer is a curse on the universe. I love your courage though and how you deal with negativity. I wish you and your family the best. Its nearly November….x

  14. I am so sorry to hear about the struggles that your grandmother has had to endure and really appreciate you sharing this with us. It really puts perspective on how precious life is and how we should learn how to make the most of it. Definitely respect you even more for putting such a positive note into this post to share with us all!!

    Helen xx

  15. Oh!! I am sorry to hear about what your family going through. Just keep thinking positive and let smile becomes our vibes.

  16. I’m so sorry your grandmother is going through so much. It must be tough for your family to see a loved one suffering. Really admire your positive attitude. Sending loads of love and positive vibes your way <3

  17. It makes me sad that you have those not so good experiences. I would say it is only coincidence that they all happened during the month of October. Nothing compares to the pain of losing a loved one, but like you said, always look at the positive. Your grandma knows you love her. Surrendering to God’s will and trusting His Wisdom is truly comforting.

  18. My mother passed away almost two years ago. She was also in hospice for a few weeks and it was hard. I miss her everyday. However I have learned to live and be thankful for the 28 years I had with her.

  19. Sorry to hear about what your family going through. Just keep thinking positive always and keep praying. God will help you in every problem that you have.

  20. I’m so sorry for this. October is an emotional month for me as well. Sometimes I feel like “just think of the good things” minimizes my feelings and makes me feel like “oh well there are good things going on so you shouldnt be so sad” but I think it’s perfectly healthy and OK to be sad and not concentrate on the good things sometimes, especially early in the grief process.

  21. It’s always a good idea to focus on the positives. I have been trying that a lot this year and it is making everything so much better. I am very sorry to hear about your struggles with your grandma. I wish you and your family the best.

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother 🙁 my prayers are with you! It really makes you think and put life into perspective and think about the important things and realize that you’re blessed to still be here and share those moments with those you love and care about!

  23. Your writing is very inspiring. I’m glad you found the positive things in life when faced with difficulties. That makes you live happier. Good luck!

  24. These are all really great tips! I’m sorry to hear what your family has been going through with this disease, I know that has to take a toll on you and your family. I agree completely on what you suggested, especially abandoning resentment. Sometimes that is probably the hardest thing we can do, but it will help us to not hurt so much, but in due time. Thank you for opening up and sharing!

  25. Focusing on the positives is always a good idea. I hate being upset and losing my smile, I love being a positive person. I’m sorry someone close to you is suffering.

  26. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma! These circumstances are really hard for anyone but glad that you’re trying to stay positive! A big hug to you for staying strong!

  27. I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. Everything happens for a reason. and don’t lose hope. Always keep ourselves positive. You need to surround yourself with positive vibes.

  28. August-October seem to be a rough time for me because it birthdays of my grandmother who has passed years ago and my cousins passing and so many other things. The week leading up to Halloween helps bring the smile to my face.

  29. I like what you said about being grateful. I feel like gratitude is the #1 factor in my happiness. Somehow being thankful for what I have makes life just a bit easier to take, during the hard times.

  30. You had a lot of awesome stuff this month and i totally agree with these tips and the first one is the most one because a lot of people tend to be negative than be positive :))

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