Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Giving Thanks

I know I spend far more time than I should revisiting the past and feeling true and deep sorrow for the loss of so many things—friends, lovers, and family—I once had and no longer have. Thinking of them truly does create a physical ache of longing. But even as I grieve my losses, I realize just how blessed I am to have them in my life at all. I have from time to time wondered, if offered the choice of having been spared the pain of losing them by never having had them in my life at all, would I choose to relive my life without them? The answer, of course, is “no.” So even while I grieve, I am thankful for having had their company—no matter for how short or long a time—on my walk through life.

No matter how I may bewail not being 21 again, the fact is that I have been lucky enough to have lived as long as I have. Tens of millions of people never have that chance. As to physical limitations, just by looking around me, I see legions of people who I consider far worse off than I (and it is quite probable that each of them, looking around, feel the same way when they look at me).

I still have friends and family who are very dear to me, and who make my life infinitely more pleasant and meaningful than it would be without them. We seldom realize what we have until we lose it.

We are all given special gifts, talents, or character traits we are too close to ourselves to see. We’re generally too busy concentrating on what we do not have to realize and appreciate what we do have. I bemoan the changes my poor, brave body has gone through, but I get a sharp wake-up call every time I go to the Mayo Clinic, and see what others endure with far more nobility than I could ever muster. I think of Stephen Hawking, trapped in a body which barely functions but with a mind as brilliant as the sun. I would not choose to be Stephen Hawking, but it is unlikely that he would choose to be me.

All of the above comes down to the fact that we shouldn’t limit our giving thanks for our gifts to one day in November, but consciously try to make it a part of our everyday lives. And of all our gifts, by far the most important is simply the gift of life. It’s all too soon taken away; so every now and then, it might be a good idea for us all to sit back, think a moment, and truly appreciate what we have.
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits, available from UntreedReads.com and Amazon.com; it's also available as an audio book from Amazon/Audible.com. You can find information about Dorien's books at his web site:  www.doriengrey.com

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