Finding the Best Things During the Worst Times

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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Parkinson's Awareness Month, spring, birds, tips, hero, faith, losing your voice, garden, exercise, tell, impatience, doctors, laughter, prevalence, different, love-hate, encourager, holding hands, movement disorder specialist, patients, depression, perspective, masks, writing, New Year's resolutions, anxiety, grateful, abbreviations, beautiful, gift guide, strength, death, misunderstood, rebuilding, generation, water, care, healthy, chance

It’s hard to look back on this past year without finding some sort of grief, anger, confusion, heartache, or other emotion that gives us pause. We stop and ask ourselves if anything good has come of this year or if we took unwelcome steps, one after another, that led us to sorrow upon sorrow. 

Is it possible to look back and not find anything worth even a minute amount of gratitude? Does it seem as though nothing is worth remembering, nothing is worth reflecting on, and nothing good was discovered?

It sometimes seems so much easier to find a dark corner to huddle up in and stay there, content to be left alone. Some days, that almost seems the easier path to take. Sifting through our misery, self-pity, sorrow, and pain, we may find that if we take our eyes off the positive, look back on our experiences, then look up to our Helper, we will find good things. And in looking for the good things, we will not only get over the rough times but also get through them.

But how do we find good things?

How are we supposed to get over the harshness of the past year? It may seem simplistic, maybe even childish, but we can do it by being grateful and finding something to be thankful for.  


In the middle of summer, we got a call saying, “This is it.” My daughter-in-law was in labor. 

I headed down to their house to stay with my grandson while Mom and Dad stayed busy at the hospital bringing his new little sister into the world. 

And oh, what a beautiful baby! 


So many sorrows disappear when holding a precious baby. So many things to be thankful for beg your attention: 10 perfect toes and 10 tiny fingers; a strong, robust voice that cries out loud; big, blue eyes that stare back at you, and make you certain you are receiving the first smile of many more to come. One thankful thought leads easily to another.

Gratitude and thankfulness

These two words can help us in our times of sorrow and pain. Instead of choosing an attitude of misery, I found something to be thankful for. In every situation, the outcome could have been so much worse. And because it wasn’t worse, I was able to be there for others who did experience something worse. 

When we are consumed by the fires that ravage our neighborhoods, and only a shell of what was remains standing, we can be grateful our friends and family got out in time. Because it could have been so much worse. 

When those we dearly love unexpectedly breathe their last breath here on Earth, we can be thankful they went quickly and in peace. Because it could have been so much worse. 

When your health issues won’t give you a break and seem to be progressing, much to your displeasure, it really could be so much worse.

When you are caught up in heartache and the chains of sorrow have you wrapped tightly by what this last year has brought upon you, what is one thing you can honestly be grateful for? One thing you can be thankful for?

Now think of another.

And another.

And another.

The chains of grief and sorrow that bound you so tightly will drop to the ground. The clouds that covered you in darkness will roll away. And you will see that out of the worst times came the good things — those things we are thankful for.

What are you thankful for today?


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


Cathy avatar


Thank you, Sharri!!
Just what I needed this evening.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thank you for commenting Cathleen - i am glad it spoke to you!

renaat waem avatar

renaat waem

Ik zal nooit mijn parkinson aanvaarden waarschijnlijk ben ik er zelfs mee geboren toch blijf ik geloven in stamcelinplanting en hoop dat die voor mij en vele andere parkinson mensen op tijd komt de parkinson is bij mij op 56 jaar vastgesteld heb reeds gans mijn leven astma zwake lever gal en darmen toen ik drie maand oud was vlak na mijn geboorte stond ik op het punt om te sterven ik heb het toen gehaald waarom dat weet ik niet ik ben doodziek op de wereld gekomen en zal er waarschijnlijk doodziek afgaan . blijkbaar ben ik een vechter ik heb ondanks mijn enorme beperkingen al gans mijn leven blijven sporten heb leren skieen schaatsen wielrennen voetballen karate bijna alle sporten nu wandel en fiets ik nog maar anders ik blijf vechten tegen dat oude mannetje dat aan de linkerkant van mijn lichaam is binnengekomen ik haat hem en toch zal hij bij mij blijven tot ik sterf . ik neem nog geen medicatie bang voor dyskinie te krijgen dus hoop ik op de celstam therapie .doe de groeten aan M.J.FOX de wereld mag blij zijn dat hij er wil tegen vechten door hem zal ooit de genezing er komen samen met alle onderzoekers over heel de wereld zullen we ooit parkinson,msa,ms,alsheimer,en de rest klein krijgen .aan ieder van ons hou de moed erin groeten renaat waem.

I will never accept my Parkinson's, probably I was even born with it, yet I continue to believe in stem cell implantation and hope that it will arrive on time for me and many other Parkinson's people, the Parkinson's has been diagnosed with me at 56 years, I have had asthma weak liver all my life bile and intestines when i was three months old just after my birth i was about to die i made it then why i don't know i came into the world very sick and will probably die sick. apparently I am a fighter despite my enormous limitations I have continued to play sports all my life I have learned skiing and ice skating cycling football playing karate almost all sports now I walk and cycle but otherwise I keep fighting against that old man who is on the left side of my body I hate him and yet he will stay with me until I die. i'm not taking any medication yet afraid of getting dyskinia so i hope for the cell stem therapy give my regards to MJFOX the world should be glad he wants to fight it through him the cure will one day come together with all the researchers all over the world world we will one day get Parkinson's, msa, ms, alsheimer, and the rest. to each of us keep the courage renaat waem.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thank you Reneat for your vulnerability and leaving a comment.

Richard Malmsheimer avatar

Richard Malmsheimer

I'm grateful for being able to sit here in front of my computer, reading and responding to a the world outside.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Hi Richard - thanks for responding to this article - I’m grateful you did!!!

Lori DePorter avatar

Lori DePorter

The rule of three! You can always find three things to be thankful for at any given moment!


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