Friday, November 25, 2016

Gratitude Is an Attitude

"Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside.  No matter what is going on outside of us, there's always something we could be grateful for."

~Barry Nell Kaufman

It was an unusual Thanksgiving for the two of us, the first time in our 33 years of marriage that we celebrated alone. Had to cancel meeting old friends for our tradition of a marvelous buffet near Zion - can't risk being in large gatherings anymore. Had to decline the warm offer of sharing dinner with a friend and her family -- couldn't risk passing our debilitating head colds to her elderly relatives. 

Each year at Thanksgiving we take turns expressing what we are most grateful for. This year, as you might expect, the list was significant - having each other in this fight for John's life, our doctors, the wonderful hospitals we have at our disposal, modern medicine, the safe community in which we live, the remarkable network of support, my loving siblings, sufficient resources, the strengthening of our already strong relationship, our home. 

As we acknowledged one blessing after another, our lagging spirits definitely lifted. In the hours since, I've turned my thoughts to other, more personal gratitudes and the list is somewhat overwhelming. 

  • homemade soups and biscotti delivered by friends who know I don't enjoy cooking
  • a particularly thoughtful gift - a king-sized flat sheet because I can't fight with fitted sheets right now
  • photos via the Internet by friends who suspect we may be feeling isolated
  • the clinic office manager who heard my frustration and rectified a problem immediately and without attitude
  • e-mails that have brought laughter and tears
  • unexpected calls just to see how we're doing
  • Robitussin and NyQuil, cough drops and throat sprays
  • retirement - how do people who have to work find the time and energy for such a battle?
  • the last Henry Fonda roses of the year
  • jigsaw puzzles and adult coloring books, my meditation practices of choice
  • afternoon naps induced by a few pages of a good mystery
  • jokes John forwards, often outrageous, always fun
  • and seeing that this blog is being read in Portugal and France, Germany and the Ukraine, amazing, humbling
My list is actually much longer than this.  A good reminder that in spite of John's disease, in spite of an election outcome I did not want and still fear, in spite of head colds and being alone at Thanksgiving, there is always something to be grateful for.  Some things, many things to be grateful for. Just need to remember.

No comments:

Post a Comment