Tuesday 20 November 2018

A Time to Feel Grateful, Sometimes After Loss

My husband Jim and I are packing this morning - we've got an early morning flight tomorrow to Dayton, Ohio. Our daughter Natalie's boyfriend grew up there and we're all meeting at his family home to celebrate Thanksgiving. 

Sipping my coffee, I began to think of all things I'm grateful for this year. Mom died on August 16 and in lots of ways, I still can't believe she's gone. But I searched for gratitude in the last year of Mom's life and this is what I found: 

  • I feel grateful that just before Mom died, my sister and I went with her to a lovely hotel in a small town where her parents grew up and married. We reminisced about family history, explored pioneer gravestones (and found my great grandparents' markers)! We slept in the same room with views of the lake, a fire burning in the grate. 
  • I am grateful that Mom had wonderful carers in the last year of her life - they loved her and she loved them.
  • I feel grateful for my sister. Even though we've always been close, sometimes when life gets very busy, we take each other for granted. But we are hyper-aware of each other now, sharing our grief and our family memories. We've been holding hands a lot over the last few months. 
  • I feel grateful for my husband Jim and our new puppy Daisy. I love my life and the chance I have to walk outside in the forest - nature heals my heart and soul. 
  • I feel grateful for the love in our family, for our precious Nicholas and Natalie. I am grateful that Nick has been healthy and strong over the past year and that his carers love him. I feel grateful that our Natalie is thriving in her work and in her life with someone she loves very much. 
  • I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to reflect on my life and share with so many others who, like me, have a life with caregiving at its heart.
Most of all, I am grateful that over the years, I have learned some lessons of resilience. I have learned to feel deeply grateful, especially for the love in our family. I hope you feel the love of family, too. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and family! 

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