Yesterday I took a trip into the township where I am staying and noticed a little memorial garden I had never seen before. It has about 40 headstones that have been moved from somewhere else. I was intrigued and began to read some of the head stones.
I was struck by the number of young children that had died in the years the cemetery was operating. The last few headstones were particularly sad. Whole families of children seem to have been decimated.
Joseph Gordon and Mary Atley, lost their first born son on 4th July 1867, the same day he was born. Their daughter died in May 1870 aged two years old.
The Hobsons lost both their sons, two year old Walter and four year old William in 1866.
Henry and Susan Dean had five children born between 1861 and 1866. The oldest of these, Charles died at 5 years old, just four months before their fifth child William was born. Then in 1867 all four of the other children died within a six week period.
I can’t help feeling that we have so much to be grateful for. Grateful for life and health, for good medicine and good doctors and hospitals that save lives.
I did some research and found out that until 1866, the Mudgee hospital was still using candles for light and presumably, open fires for warmth. In 1859, one patient complained that she was not offered water to wash in for two weeks and the hospital matron was accused of being “stupid drunk” on duty. At least twenty per cent of the people in the hospital that year died.
I have just moved to a colder region for four weeks and was feeling rather sorry for myself. There is frost in the mornings and last night a cold stormy rain blew through. Then I read about other families who have lived here and began to be enormously grateful. Grateful for;
Slippers and bathrobes
Umbrellas and polar fleece jerseys
When I am tempted to feel sorry for myself it can help to think about how much worse some people have it. An attitude of gratitude makes me happier and attracts more good into my life.
Looking on the bright side is not just an interesting technique or a catch phrase, it is a sensible and healthy thing to do. It will make you healthier and increase your level of happiness. I guarantee it.