Don made a significant choice as he settled into his rehabilitation. One day he said to me, “I didn’t intentionally cause my stroke. It just happened, and I can’t change that. I don’t want to become bitter about it.”
Don’s choice of attitude was consistent with his personality. I was amazed he could make that decision so early in his illness. Don’s resolution made a huge impact on his life and on our family. I watched his positive attitude help his disposition and draw people to him instead of drive them away. Don’s model inspired the boys and me to choose the same approach. We all benefited from Don’s wisdom.
Don and I agreed that we simply did not want to focus on bitterness and waste energy we could better apply to his recovery. We did not have to deny the pain; we just did not want to let our losses fester and control our lives.
The stroke just happened. To grow angry and bitter would only hurt Don and strain his relationships with our family and friends.
Don’s decision not to become bitter was difficult, and he occasionally needs to revisit his choice. However, his determination to be positive, instead of bitter, has affected the quality of our lives in such a positive way that we highly recommend it.
What helps us cope and gives us hope: Don had the wisdom and the inner strength to choose not to get bitter after his tragedy. We did not choose Don’s stroke, but we can choose how we deal with it. That gives us hope!
Question for our readers: How do you struggle between the choice of becoming positive or bitter? What helps you avoid bitterness?
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