Gratitude Trumps Adversity – Thanksgiving ’09 in Cerrillos, NM

My Darling Hannah and her adoring husband, James

An old and dear friend just wrote me that — “Gratitude Trumps Adversity” — in an email. She was referring to how thankful we all are that my daughter Hannah just sailed through a very serious emergency surgery with flying colors.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Spending time out of state with a friend with Stage IV cancer, almost losing one of my sweet older dogs, and burying one of my dear horses a week before Thanksgiving were but harbingers, I suppose, of even more to come. Sunday found me and my son-in-law rushing my daughter to the emergency room. Three days later finds her in post-op after major surgery to remove a huge hemorrhaging tumor (non-malignant, thank the Lord), and everyone near and far who loves her in an extreme state of gratitude.

I’ve always said that forgiveness is one of the main acts and emotions that can open the heart. It’s not easy to achieve, and one can’t make it happen. It has to come when it’s ready, and it has to come from the heart. When it happens for real, you know it. You can feel it.

Gratitude is a little different, and I think the word “trumps” is perfect to use with it. Gratitude takes precedence. When you are in a state of gratitude so many things become minor. Even when maybe they’re not. It’s like being thankful for the flat tire you had that made you late to work, when, if that hadn’t happened you probably would have been part of the 40-car pile-up on the interstate. Things like that.

We don’t often feel gratitude until “later.” After the fact of something major having happened that could have been much worse. Or after we are able to “see” the truth of a matter. But when it floods in it is such a blessing, and it puts so many things in life in perspective.

I am rolling and reveling in gratitude this week, and it feels wonderful. It is like a natural high. And the gratitude I feel for my daughter’s successful surgery has heightened my feelings of thanks for everything else in my life. I am inspired to take my gratitude and share it, by spreading it around — to donate more of my time, services, and resources to those in need.

Today is Thanksgiving, in the truest sense of the word in our house. There is so much we take for granted. I hope you do not have a life-threatening emergency to remind you of all you have to be thankful for, but do take a moment to count your blessings, and to share them with others in any way you can.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Appreciation is the Name of the Game

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