Life’s Tiny Moments Give Us Much to Be Grateful For

A columnist praises the small things that can spark life despite Huntington's

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by Carlos Briceño |

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Tiny moments. Life is full of them.

For instance:

I was not expecting the phone call. My wife, Jill, always texts me when she wakes up. She never calls. But during a recent morning, my cellphone rang while I was at work, and when I picked up, I saw it was Jill. The first thing I said was, “Is everything OK?”

“Yes, everything’s fine,” she said. “I just wanted to call to hear your voice.”

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I’m Determined to Focus on Gratitude

If you think about it, a wife calling her husband is not a big deal. But what made it so for me was knowing that Jill doesn’t like talking on the phone. Her preferred method of communicating is always texting. What also made her call so wonderful was that it was so unexpected.

It was a gift to hear her voice that early in the day. To know she wanted to hear mine was also a gift. It melted my heart. It made me fall even more deeply in love with her. I never used to be cognizant of these kinds of tiny moments. It’s easy to take life, and others, for granted.

But since she and our daughter, Alexus, were diagnosed as gene-positive for Huntington’s disease in 2018 and 2019, respectively, I’ve become more aware of the importance of these moments.

They act as powerful reminders of what life should be about. Sure, life can be sad and full of tragedy. Sure, life can be cruel, as Huntington’s is one of the most horrible rare diseases out there. Those major moments, in which life can feel overwhelming, can often blot out the tiny ones. Being busy or feeling stressed can also overshadow these moments.

But I’m writing this to remind all of us, myself included, that tiny moments have incredible value. These are the moments that can take our breath away — like when a gorgeous sunset, with purple, pink, and orange hues, blazes away on the horizon. Or when I see Jill or my daughter smile. Or when I feel my aging dog’s soft fur when I carry her.

All these are reminders that I’m alive. That those I love are alive. That what makes the suffering and the sadness in life bearable is to feel gratitude, a virtue that’s on my mind because two of the people I love the most have a disease that will diminish them in ways I wish would never happen.

The more my heart experiences tiny moments with deep gratitude, the more I stay rooted in the present moment, which doesn’t just make life better — it’s what makes me feel fully alive.

There’s so much to be grateful for, including you, dear readers. I wish everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, full of wonderful tiny moments that make your hearts feel full.

Note: Huntington’s Disease News 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 other 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 Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.


Marg McKee avatar

Marg McKee

Beautiful !

Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

Thank you!


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