Gratitude Stories: My David James

Illustration of a salmon pink heart
Submitted by Leanna Young

I only have flashes as a child, I couldn't figure out why others had memories and I had only quick snapshots. 30 years later, I was broken, stitched back together with a rusty needle. Failed relationships, drug abuse, anger, and sadness. After leaving a failed 15-year mentally and physically abusive marriage, life begged me to open my eyes. I wanted to but I felt bound and blindfolded.

A few years later, my daughter ran suddenly and moved 2 states away. She and my son were my color yellow in a world full of grey. I came home from work and her room was empty 2 weeks before she graduated. I realized that was a pain deeper than any scar from my past. Then it got worse... an overdose took a friend of 25 years. She died in my arms while I begged her not to go and fight. She looked at me and she said "I love you," and I didn't say it back. It haunted me! I only begged her to stay, and I should have told her how much she meant to me as a lifelong friend.

3 shots of Narcan and the last was for me, because of the hurt "I wasn't giving up," look I gave them to keep trying. The EMT looked at me and I knew, no words were needed. I fought for her life but gave up on mine. I hit my knees and begged God to take me the way I did when I was 12 and I prayed for God to protect me from my older brother who sexually abused me until I was able to fight back.

I thought God abandoned me like everyone else. Then I met David James and my spiritual awakening began. I loved him with everything I had. Which wasn't much, but would have given it up in a second to spend my life with this person. Both of us had been through serious traumas in our lives and God wanted us to have a second chance. Through ups and what I call tower moments (downs), David and I grew together. He pulled the things I needed to the surface for healing and I did the same for him. Not even knowing we were healing each other, and God was a very smart man.

David at times tried to hang on to his old life and we separated for some time. It was hard on both of us because at the time we thought we lost each other. Maybe that was the only reason we were put together. To heal and go our separate paths. But God was a very loving man, and he brought us back together to finish healing and to have a love we had never experienced. True unconditional love! I forgave my daughter and she forgave me. We started building a mother and daughter relationship, the way it was meant to be.

God tested me though and at times I thought I was failing but gratefulness became a big part of my life. I realized gratefulness was my prayer to God. I only knew the negative and the positive was what was going to pull me out. I started reading about being grateful and the power it had. That's when I stumbled on the Gratitude app. Every day I...at first, forced myself to be grateful. Sometimes it was as small as, thank you for this pen I was using to write this story, but could have a big impact on someone else's life.

What seemed like a long emotional, positive, and hurtful road I started to wake up! My eyes opened, and my life changed! I could feel truly happy, I could feel true love and I was able to give love. David became my family and I was his. We are still learning and being grateful. We still have our moments of hurt but it's normal to hurt and we have our gratitude for those moments too. We are thankful for this app also because every day we wake up and continue to be grateful for this second chance at life, and our old lives that brought us to this point of normal everyday happiness!

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