When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Taking some moments from the necessary tasks
on this day before the holiday 
to make a random list of some BIG things for which I am deeply grateful
and a few little things that make me happy.

~ a copy of this painting by Jean-Francois Millet, originally entitled Prayer for the Potato Crop and later named The Angelus, that was given to us by my parents nearly thirty years ago and hangs on our dining room wall

~ our daily bread

~ the smell of pine trees and damp earth

~ the "e" tattoo on my left wrist, especially now since the livestrong bracelet I'd worn since 2006 broke, and nothing ever feels like the original...

~ a 30 year marriage (it seems a rare commodity these days) that sometimes rocks and rolls with the punches that the sickness and death of a child brings (which adds more weight to those odds against us), with a man who now walks by the same empty spaces in the house with me each and every day, and with whom I share a path toward the future

~ my rain machine

~ a heated corn bag to warm my bones and settle my nerves

~ snowflakes

~ 18 years, 7 months, 4 days, 9 hours and 5 minutes of Erin

~ three all-grown-up kids who are healthy, independent and living full and happy lives, who all get along with one another and who still want to come home

~ the first sip of hot coffee in the morning

~ our modest house which we've made a comfortable home, with so many personalized nooks and crannies that make it a special place

~ flames dancing in the fireplace and casting a welcome hypnotic spell

~ other moms I've met on this path, who are living the life they wouldn't choose either, yet here we all are supporting one another

~ the sweetest dog in the whole wide world

~ music and books

~ honey crisp apples, oh my gosh have you tried them?

~ ok, McDonald's fries and mocha frappes too

~ the community that surrounds us, whose steady generosity shored us up during the most difficult times imaginable, and whose spontaneous acts of thoughtfulness continue to remind us that we're not forgotten

~ a foot rub

~ Erin's friends who invite me to be a part of their lives

~ piles of photographs, with each snapshot telling a priceless story

~ big bodies of water; the ocean, a lake

~ butt warmers in car seats

~ the journals of gratitude that Erin and I faithfully wrote in for two years

~ paint swatches; so many colors - so little time :)

~ bamboo sheets

~ Erin's eyelashes

~ family and friends who understand that I'm not who I once was and accept who I've become, who can speak Erin's name in my presence without hesitation, who cry with me and laugh with me and love me for who I am
The memory of last year's Thanksgiving;
one perfect day in so many ways,
safely tucked between a Wednesday spent at the hospital with drugs and radiation for pain control
and a Friday when the bottom dropped out before our eyes.

A day when Erin felt great, and was so beautiful and confident
and generous and helpful and happy.
A gift of a day.
A day filled with the typical antics of older brothers.

A day of love between sisters.

A day for dancing!

A perfect day...

Peace to all of you on this most beautiful of holidays.

Please take a minute to share a BIG thing for which you are grateful or a little thing that just makes you smile :)


  1. I don't even know you, but I cried as I read this post. So glad you have the sweet memories. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  2. I am grateful that Erin is safe now, not in pain and able to keep an eye on all of us.

    I am smiling thinking of waking up and having that first sip of coffee with you and Dad in our modest and comfortable house.


  3. Thankful for many things. Most of all, a close family, Tasha, and great friends.

    - Chris

  4. I am thankful for a six year old's hug fresh from playing smelling like the outdoors and sweet little boy sweat. I am thankful for the two teenage girls who can find a moment to stop bickering and enjoy a game of family WII. Have a wonderful holiday and hold your memories close.
    Love a reader...

  5. Honey crisp apples are one of the very best things on the planet. I am thankful for flannel, wool socks, comfy sweaters, carrots and beets, silly cats wearing ruffs, being at home with my parents, and "bumping es" with my marmie!!! xoxoxo

  6. I am deeply and profoundly grateful for my friendship with you, dear Potts. You were one of my very first friends when we moved to La Grange 26 years ago. And now here we are, time zones apart, but closer than ever, changed by things we never imagined. Sending you hugs filled with gratitude. xo

  7. Where to begin? Grateful for you post that makes me stop and think of all to be grateful for today and every day. And for you, my back door friend. What a blessing to know how blessed we are..xxoo

  8. I'm thankful for my loving, close, and sometimes crazy family, my ability to play the sport that I love, the amazing opportunities I've been given, and the time I had with Erin.

    I'm also grateful for chocolate, my stuffed animal, harry potter books, and TISSUES!!

    And little things that make me smile: The contagiousness of laughter, and the comfort of a hug :)

  9. Chris has some sweet moves! Tasha better be ready to bust a move!!! I can feel the love and happiness in those pictures! God bless eveyone!
    Nothing special I am grateful for just EVERYTHING!!! Trying to live a life of gratitide. Sure makes for interesting looks from people as I walk around smiling alot!

  10. Wow - such a beautiful post! At the top of my gratitude list? Caroline's brothers, who came home from college every weekend beginning with her diagnosis, to be with her, laugh with her, tease her, play games with her and cheer her on. I am grateful for my husband, who helped take such wonderful, loving care of Caroline. I am grateful for my father, my twin sister and great friends who love and miss my sweet Caroline as if she were theirs. And I am grateful for Caroline's cousins and best friends, who rallied around her, made sure she always had something fun planned and who continue to bless us with their hugs, tears, laughter and text messages.

    I am grateful to even feel joy and gratitude. I am grateful to even recognize all of the above as gifts, graces from God. And most of all I am grateful for the 14 years, 5 months, 15 days and 3 and a half hours of Caroline's life. I truly loved and cherished every minute of being Caroline's mom. I am grateful that I always knew how very special she was and how lucky I was to have her.

    Mary, you are all in my thoughts and prayers as December 18 approaches, and during all of the days between now and then, as they tick by, each day with a memory of its own.

    With love and understanding, Carol