Thanks Giving: Being Thankful Every Day
We Gather Together
Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching here in the United States. For many it is a time when families get together to feast and share time with loved ones that may not visit often.
Sometimes, some family members are loved more from a distance. You may have one or two in your family.
- Uncle Bert whose voice echoes around the room.
- Aunt Lily who hugs too long and is drenched in too much perfume.
- Cousin Katy who can do everything better than anyone.
- Sister Anne who wants to tell you everything that has happened since she was born (or at least since last year).
You know who they are. For most of us though, it just wouldn't be the same if one of them was missing.
For me it is a special day. I wish to remember to be thankful for something or someone every single day as I realize that more and more family and friends are leaving the planet.
A Precious Grandson
Take a minute and make a list
You do not need me to tell you what being thankful means.
Take a minute and list the top 10 things for which you are thankful.
Go ahead. I will wait a bit.
Got it? I bet that once you got started you realized there are a lot more than 10 things that could be on your list.
A Daughter and Her "Man" (as she calls him) and "Baby" Heston Wayne
For me, my family has always been number one. And my relationship with my Higher Power next.
After that the things I am thankful for have changed due to the circumstances I was in at the time.
You see, my daughter and eldest grandson were homeless for a time. I have written about that experience here on HubPages.
When were were homeless the things we were thankful for would seem mundane to some.
My Daughter and Eldest Grandson, Jay
Many of the hubs I have written address the ongoing battle with cancer that my grandchildren and daughter face daily.
Some may look at a new hub and say "O, no. Not this again!"
It must be stated that living with cancer in the family is a daily event for those who are ill and those who are not.
By sharing the circumstances of my family's journey, my intent is to offer encouragement and HOPE to others who are walking a similar walk.
Homeless and Thankful
Here are some things we were thankful for when we lived in a travel trailer park in a small van in winter.
- each other
- warm clothing
- canned food
- a can opener
- enough firewood to heat our food
- an indoor restroom and shower
- a faucet for running water at our campsite
- warm covers when we got sleepy
- enough money to buy bread and milk
- a reason to laugh (being chased by a rooster)
- strong legs and feet that enabled us to walk 8 miles to the store
And, yes. I thought those tales of walking hither, thither, and yon that were told by family members were just that, tales. Now I know.
For Everything, Be Thankful
Over time our circumstances changed and we remain, even to this day, so very thankful for many of the same things. Our personal relationship with each other (that is, my daughter and grandsons and my daughter's husband) is number one.
I guess it is my age but I am thankful for some things more now than I was earlier in life.
- Getting up every day and being able to greet a new day is a huge reason to be thankful.
- Being able to hear the voices of my grandchildren and my daughter is yet another.
- The warmth and love of friends and family that are near and far is so lovely.
- The wonders of nature that are waiting for me each day as I step outside of my home remind me to give thanks.
If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.— Gerard Good
A Year Later
A few weeks before Thanksgiving last year I wrote an article that was not just another Thanksgiving wish.
My daughter and both grandsons have cancer. My daughter was told that my grandson, Jay, would never reach the age of six or eleven, certainly not thirteen. He is now 24 and is on the planet. (He is currently having chemo.)
My daughter has had cancer---numerous kinds (much of it metastasized now) for 20 years. She has been told on numerous occasions that her time is short.
Just before Thanksgiving of last year, she was told that she had six months to one year left on the planet. As you see that is what prompted last year's article.
It is one year later now and thankfully she is still on the planet. She has refused to give up and give in. She gets up every day and lives life to the fullest. She does rest more now and she is in a lot of pain but she does frequent meditation to help with that.
The oncologists have told her that there is nothing more they can do for her. She has been told that before too.
Sometimes they do find something more.
No matter what...even when you may have a little trouble finding something to be thankful for---keep your sense of humor. It often helps to keep things in perspective.
Being Thankful in the Face of Adversity
It is easy to be thankful every day when life is smooth and no rocky roads show up to throw us off kilter a bit. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. And, all is well in our world.
The test comes when we are forced to find reasons to be thankful when loved ones are snatched from us too soon or unexpectedly.
It is hard when our loved ones are in pain daily, severe horrendous pain, and we can do nothing to stave off that pain.
Finding a new rhythm and filling our days with the business of living is how we, in our family, have tried to make peace with this scourge named cancer.
Trying to make every minute of every day count refocuses our energy.
Exquisite Beauty Awaits
Why I am Thankful
I am thankful---every single day.
First of all, I am thankful because I choose to be. We choose so much of what comes our way.
Wallowing in self-pity and wailing, "O, woe is me!" is pointless.
Negative energy and negative thinking has no place in my life or in the lives of my family.
I firmly believe that one reason my daughter and both grandsons are on the planet is, in part, because of positive thinking and positive energy.
One way to shine light on tiny reasons or huge reasons to be thankful is to keep a journal. Sometime during the day, jot down something that made you smile and gave your reason to be thankful. My one journal has become many over the years. It is uplifting to revisit them on a day when I may not be feeling too perky.
Do You Take Time Each Day to Acknowledge Reasons to be Thankful?
Two Reasons to be Thankful: Precious Grandson and a Rainbow
How will I Feel
Easy for me to say that I am thankful for even the small things when my child and grandchildren are still on the planet.
How will I feel if one of them dies? Honestly, I cannot answer that for certain. I would hope that in honor of their memory that I will continue to find reasons to be thankful. Thankful for all of the wonderful moments we are sharing now.
One thing I know for sure. I am so very blessed to have such a loving family not just the ones mentioned here but scattered throughout Florida and the U.S.
How thankful I am for friends who are the wind beneath my wings. Friends whom I see very often and friends that I correspond with via text and email lift me up and share my joy and sorrow.
Be thankful for today.
Do not miss one single minute of any day.
Taking Time to Smell the Roses
One thing that has helped me to be more appreciative is that I have uncluttered my life to a great extent. I have consciously thought about what brings me real joy. And if something in my life was failing to bring me joy, it no longer had a place in my life. I am learning to slow down, just breathe, and to smell the proverbial roses.
What brings me real joy and what I am most thankful for are the wonderful people with whom I share my time whether in person or via the virtual world.
Things really bring me little joy so I have down-sized quite a bit. There are some things that I treasure but my greatest reason to give thanks is for all of the lovelies who are in my life.
Do what works for you. Discover what it is that evokes a feeling of thankfulness within you and it can be life-changing.
Thank you for spending a few moments with me.
© 2019 Patricia Scott