Gratitude is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Since Thanksgiving was this week, I find myself deeply grateful for many things and people in my life. I hear the words “wake up with gratitude in your heart” often, and I sincerely try.
Many of you know I lost my oldest grandson last week, and it has broken the collective heart of my family and our extended families. The reaction from this community has left me deeply humbled and filled with gratitude.
People have reached out in so many ways, and continue to support my parents, our children, and our grandkids, it is remarkable, but not surprising.
I have seen this community rise on many occasions to support families and individuals in all manner of need. I have always been proud of us because of it. I am just not used to being on the receiving end.
I find it easier to help, volunteer, or give, than I do to accept, but in this situation, we needed and appreciate all the help and love.
In my soul, I am given strength through your actions.
It is especially heartwarming when I’ve been at such a loss over the divide in our community this past year. In my case, I found, that people dropped all of that negativity between each other immediately, and asked: “how can I help?” I am extremely grateful for this, as is my family.
Loss changes you. For me, it has made me re-prioritize some areas in my life I want to change. Like spending more time individually with each grandchild. I have 12 left, and they are growing so fast, changing, and each has a unique and delightful personality, even the baby of the group.
I thought my kids grew up fast, but that was hindsight. When they were growing up, it felt crazy busy and fun, but after they were all grown, I realized it went by in a blink.
With my grandkids, I’m watching it happen again, but twice as fast, it seems. I can’t afford to say “let’s get together” and let it hang.
It’s not like we don’t get together, but it’s usually at family bonfires, dinners, celebrations, holidays, etc., but one on one is rare, and about to change.
I am very thankful that I have three of my four children here to be able to have this opportunity. I’m not so subtly working on the one that doesn’t live here, much to her chagrin.
So, back to gratitude and thanks. Suffice it to say, the people here are an amazing group. Young and old and every age in between, have shown us the kindness of their hearts. Again, it is humbling, and I thank you.
As you enjoy a weekend where we traditionally give thanks, I hope your table is full of all good things. Laughter, good food, and those you love.
Mine will be thinking of each of you and how grateful I am I live where I do, with the people I do.
When it comes down to it, all we have is each other and the community we make.
For me, our community is more than enough to fill my heart.