Thanksgiving Day presents a perfect opportunity for me to indulge friends in an activity I enjoy throughout the year: gratitude inventory.
Sometimes, especially when feeling blue, I like to take stock of the many blessings in my life, blessings that tend to get over-looked in the rush-rush of trying to get more. This week I asked my Facebook friends to share their gratitude, and I was delighted by their offerings.
“I am grateful for my family’s unconditional love,” I told them. “Grateful for a husband who can and does carry it when I can’t. Grateful
for a cheerful, bright, philosophical mother. Grateful for having grandparents in my life all these years! I am grateful for a mother-in-law and father-in-law, who have blessed me beyond words.”
My friend Muriel Laws, with whom I attended elementary school, is extremely grateful for new beginnings and for new life. “I received two new grandbabies this year (boy and girl) and my husband received a kidney transplant after being on the waiting transplant list for only a month,” she wrote. “Miracles all around!”
My aunt Carolyn Tate Drake is grateful for her “bonus family,” her stepchildren and other in-laws, and thankful for retirement after 41-and-a-half years in federal government and working part-time jobs.
My friend Terri Schlichenmeyer, whom I met about five years ago through work, mentioned a point of gratitude that gave me pause. “I have a roof over my head, gas in the tank, food in the pantry, clean sheets, a few dollars in my purse, and electricity,” she wrote. “That’s way more than most of the world’s population.”
Now seems like a good time to list the little things for which to be thankful. A cruise you took with family and friends this year? Seeing your children or grandchildren graduate, sending your child off to school for the first time? Eye sight to appreciate sunrises and sunsets, hearing to appreciate the difference between noise and silence, time to be still and reflect?
My friend Tyrone Umrani, a lifelong friend of the family, reminded me to be grateful for all the parenting I’ve received from my mother and father, and from aunts and uncles.
“I am grateful to be alive and well in this most interesting time,” Tyrone said. “I am thankful for parents who gave their children the very best of themselves and set an example for me to do the same for mine. I am grateful to be secure that my children know that I love them in no uncertain terms.”
Stacey Campbell reminded me to look beyond the loss of loved ones and treasure the memories of what we shared. “I’m grateful for the pleasure of having known and loved my deceased parents,” she wrote. And there was more. “I’m grateful for my autistic son who can talk and my play-writing daughter. Oh how I love that I can see, taste, smell, and have activity of my limbs. I’ve got so many gifts money can’t buy and I feel richly blessed.”
What are you thankful for?
Montgomery is a columnist for The RootDC