WHAT DOES A SNOWBALL BUSH HAVE TO DO WITH GRATITUDE?
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer, physician, philosopher, writer
I am starting my gratitude project again today, March 30, 2017. I decided to make this the subject of today's blog post and publish it. Why? Because although I have been writing with pen and paper in my gratitude journal, I find that recently, because of the uncertainty of life, I have become inconsistent.
So, I am hoping that posting this publicly will help me to stay with it because just when I need to be more determined and dedicated to this practice, it has begun to slip.
Isn’t this always the way? The thing we need most to do or be is the thing that gets derailed when life gets frantic and uncertain.
Falling off my gratitude journal is like “falling off the wagon” with food and drink. You know how it is when there is a catastrophe in your life - you lose a job, you have a quarrel with your loved one, or the worse thing that could happen, someone you love dies. The emotional disruption and turmoil causes everything in your daily schedule to be disrupted. You eat too much or drink too much of the wrong things and push aside the nutritious food and drink that were designed to nourish your body and spirit.
Last year, around this time, two of my beloved siblings died within two months of each other. My brother, Laurence died in March and my sister, Claudette died in May. Both were the victims of cancer. My brother succumbed to brain cancer and my sister, breast cancer. Even as I write those sentences, they do not seem real to me. I cannot fathom that they are gone. These two beautiful people who were once vibrant and whole and happy and kind and loving and so much more. Gone. There is a deep hole, a chasm, an emptiness staring at me that is unbearable. Impossible to comprehend. Hard to move on, even a year later.
Somedays, I feel it is a betrayal of my love for them to go on. Why am I alive and they gone? Other days I know that Laurence and Claudette would want me to live each day with joy and enthusiasm and gratitude for the gift of life I still have.
On the days I feel bereft, my spirit of gratitude is hard to muster. On the days I remember their wish for me and all their siblings, their friends, and everyone they touched throughout their lives, I am able to rise up. My sister Claudette said three weeks before she died, “I know I don’t have much more time to go but I want to enjoy every moment of everyday that I have left.” She asked me, “Will you help me with that, Faith?’’
I did the best I could, my dear Claudette.
Now, I will do what she wanted for me, “Enjoy every moment of every day that I still have.”
So, today, I start my gratitude project all over again. And I will start each day anew with gratitude. I am grateful for the love that is in my heart from my lovely brother and sister.
I am grateful for the powerful computer I am writing on, the comfortable chair I am sitting in, the birds, especially the bright red cardinal, perched on the apple tree outside my window. I am grateful for the thoughts that flow from my heart and my mind to the fingers that make them come alive on this page.
I am grateful for the gift of my life.
And I wish for you that you will find joy in every moment of your day.
TELL ME - What are you grateful for today?
PS: The photo is a snowball bush thatClaudette would have loved. She planted a snowball bush in her garden nine years ago and it came into full bloom three days before she passed away. I am grateful she was able to see it.
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