Gratitude Stories: Hearts, My Favourite Shape

An illustration of a pink smiling heart
Submitted by Cori Christensen

In 1966 I was born 11 weeks premature and weighed 3 pounds 7 ounces. I had emergency open heart surgery at 5 weeks old and I lived in an incubator for 3 months. My parents lived far away, so the first time my Mom held me was when she took me home on the airplane at 3 months of age. I was told the extraordinary story of my birth often because I was not born in the town my parents lived in. My Dad was sent to Vancouver, BC, Canada to complete a 3 month course for work. My young mom was too scared to be 800 kilometres away from him, so she accompanied him. If I had not been born at Vancouver General Hospital, one of 2 hospitals in Canada where there were paediatric cardiac surgeons, I would not have lived. Therefore, I have always lived my life full of gratitude.

Fast forward to my 40’s and I asked my Mom why she always canvassed for the Heart & Stroke Foundation every February. She told me a heartfelt story that I had never known. My surgery cost $36, 000 and back in the day that was a huge amount of money. My young Dad had no medical benefits. After my surgery he met with the surgeon and asked if he could pay in instalments. The surgeon asked my Dad if he had 1 dollar. My Dad gave him one. The surgeon then told my Dad that he had paid in full as the Heart & Stroke Foundation had covered the cost of everything. Upon hearing that story I was flooded with immense gratitude for the good of humanity. What a huge blessing for my parents. Life moves on, and like everyone, I have experienced some trials and struggles. Life is short and my mantra has always been, “Flip it to the Positive”.

I have journaled, gone to counselling, listened to podcasts, read many books and articles on the internet to keep my thoughts from going dark and to keep my heart full.The gratitude app was shared with me by a dear friend who is a mentor of mine. I use it just about everyday. I participate in all of the challenges and I refer to the Daily Zen whenever I need a pick me up. I often take photos of the Daily Zen and I keep them in a photo album labeled “positive thoughts”.

An image of a hand holding a paper heart
A heart of gratitude

The gratitude app supports my mindset of, “Flip it to the Positive.” It keeps my heart open and full to bursting! The gratitude app makes me feel connected and part of a community that is focused on love and thankfulness. I often share the Daily Zen with friends to gave them a positive start to their day.The gratitude app is a large part of why my heart is full of thankfulness. I am truly grateful for the gratitude app.

Sincerely, Cori

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