In 2013 I kept a gratitude jar and wrote about it January 1, 2014. I started the jar over again but find that I stopped putting slips of paper into it about mid-way through the year. It’s not that I am no longer grateful. In fact, I’m probably more grateful this year than I was in 2013. When I opened this year’s gratitude jar I found that the main theme was, once again, spending time with family and friends. There were many birthday celebrations, hikes, lunches, and a couple of very special reunions.
Along the way there were trips. A Caribbean vacation, the Avon Walk in Chicago, and our annual fly-in with friends. The 2014 destination was Dayton, OH complete with a reunion with a high school friend.
In addition to the obvious I found notes regarding health issues. Friends who hit milestones in their recovery. Others who received good news about a scan or ultrasound follow-up after a questionable mammogram. What wasn’t there were the diagnoses. For those, I am grateful that I can listen.
My job changed focus this past year. I read a lot of regulations. I do research. I answer yes or no questions with three paragraphs of explanation all so that I can say “it depends.”
I had to smile at “4-wheel drive to get up a steep, snowy hill.” I remember that day. The sun was shining and there was significant amounts of snow from a storm the day before. In looking back on the year I realize that I never drove Linda into Boston (or home) in a snow storm. For that, I am thankful.
The note that touches my heart said, “Kiwi on my lap every morning.” She is a cuddle-bug who just simply loves. There are no strings attached. She truly has grace.
Much of 2014 was routine, and yet I received so many gifts. Gifts of friendships, gifts of moments, gifts of making memories. And most of all, the gift of grace.