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“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” ~ Alphonse Karr

December 29, 2018

We celebrated Thanksgiving last month and I noticed that many people were putting a lot of “I am thankful” messages on social media.  I think that is awesome and I wish people expressed and demonstrated their “thankfulness” more often, not just once a year.  Sometimes I fall into the same trap of complaining instead of expressing gratitude.  It is often easy to think about the things in life that are missing or painful.  Often, if we appear too “grateful” it feels boastful and people are put off.   I am simply thankful for the multitude of blessings in my life.

This year on Thanksgiving I felt especially thankful.  Here are some of the thoughts my over thinking brain was working on that day.  I woke up early and was grateful I woke up, and grateful that I had a home and a warm bed.  With the help of my husband Skip, who loves me despite my many flaws (for which I am very thankful), we prepared a small feast.  I was thankful that I had the means to purchase and prepare the food and family to share it with. 

I tried to be in the moment and not to focus on who could not be there but at times my thoughts were melancholy that my son and daughter in law and grand-babies could not be here with us. I am grateful that they are healthy and happy and that they love me and I them.  My daughters, Becca and Kristen, were able to celebrate with us and I was grateful for their presence and their help.  My children, daughter-in-law and grandchildren are the best in the universe.  I am incredibly blessed.  My 91-year-old father was able to celebrate with us, as well as my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and some of my wonderful nieces and a nephew.

There are times when the missing of someone hurts and distracts me in the  moment.   To me, my mom was the embodiment of the holidays.  She brought us all together several times a year to celebrate being together with food and warmth.  She taught me how to make her special stuffing and how to cook a turkey. I cook it in her special roasting pan and it comes out perfect every time.  Her cookie baking skills were legendary.  I really miss that she is not here to share the holiday with all of us, but I am also grateful for the memories she helped to create.

“Grief is never something you get over. You don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I’ve conquered that; now I’m moving on.’ It’s something that walks beside you every day. And if you can learn how to manage it and honor the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity.”     ~Teri Irwin

Sometimes I think people mix up being sad or melancholy with being ungrateful. Although I think those feelings can overlap to me it is not the same. There are times when its a little more difficult to demonstrate thankfulness.  Maybe I need to do a better job of celebrating being thankful in my words and actions.  I think I do a good job but there is always room for improvement.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”.  ~William Arthur Ward

So to my family and friends I say, thank you. Thank you for reading my blogs. Thank you for taking the time to check in on me. Thank you for loving me especially on those moments I don’t feel particularly lovable.  Thank you for being you, and for being a part of my life.  Thank you for making me laugh.  Thank you for taking this journey called life and making memories with me.   I am grateful.

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