When we hear about someone enduring a personal tragedy and our hearts go out to them, it’s natural for us to fantasize about turning back time or making things different — not just negating but somehow undoing what’s befallen them. But we know that’s not possible in reality. All we can really hope for, ultimately, is that they might instead find peace and have a clarity of mind that allows them to truly appreciate their lives. We wish for them to have a life that won’t be unduly defined or haunted by what they’ve endured. We wish for them to experience joy and comfort.
When Boston bombing survivor Heather Abbott spoke at a Thursday press conference about how she’s doing after losing her foot, she reminded us all: that’s not a silly thing for us to wish for.
Watch it here. Abbott begins with a message of gratitude that starts at about 4:55 in the video. Most notable, though, is her presence and her positivity, which especially shine starting at the 19:30 mark.
A sample: “You can’t sit there and say ‘What if?’ …This is the situation I’m faced with. It’s not gonna change, so for me to dwell in the negative is sort of a waste of time to me.” And as we watch, and she smiles, it’s hard not to sense that is a person who really does, despite circumstances that may be quite hard to imagine, seem to be at peace. It’s a lovely thing. So too is that Abbott’s medical team seems to share her positivity — they’re confident she’ll regain full limb activity with the help of a prosthesis.