Gratitude. How does it show up in your life?

I had planned on writing a post on gratitude this week, it seems especially timely after the events here in Ottawa.

A city has been changed in a single day. A loss of innocence has occurred. My heart goes out to the families of both Cpl Nathan Cirillo and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Two people died tragically Wednesday in our peaceful city. Things will never be the same.

On the weekend, I was at a conference at the National Arts Center, steps away from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I had remarked to a friend how wonderful it was to see the military honor our dead by having sentries stand guard at the monument. As a former officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, I felt it a lovely gesture.

I was in an all day business planning session ten minutes away when shots were fired Wednesday, ironically our original location was to be blocks away from Parliament in the lockdown zone.

Shock. Horror. Anger. Sadness. I experienced all of these feelings when I learned of events.

Gratitude. I’m grateful to bystanders who stepped in to come to the aid of Cpl Nathan Cirilio. He was surrounded by people before he died. To emergency responders who run to and not away from danger to keep us safe. I’m grateful to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who put their lives on the line daily abroad so we can enjoy our freedom here in Canada.

Gratitude. For the simple things. For friends and family reaching out to make sure I was safe. For my home, in a country where events like these are the exception and not the norm. For this beautiful city, our nation’s capital, and the strength of its people.