Taking “T” Things With Gratitude

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

For the rest of November, I’m going to take with gratitude some of those things I often take for granted — an entire alphabet’s worth! Since today is the twentienth day of this surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “T” things.

I am especially grateful for:

Tigers. I’ve never met a tiger outside of a zoo, and I’m not sure I’d ever want to meet one, but I’m grateful there are such creatures roaming free adding a bit of wildness to our increasingly tame world.

numbersTomorrow. Of all the things we take for granted, “tomorrow” is probably the one we most take for granted until something — a severe illness or the death of a loved one — reminds us that our tomorrows are gifts. One of the great joys in life is putting off until tomorrow what we should have or could have done today. And one of the great comforts in life is knowing that we can always try again tomorrow what we failed at today. So I will take with gratitude all my tomorrows.

Temperature control. Oh, the miracle of being able to change the inside temperature with the touch of a button or the flick of a switch! We take such luxury for granted (until the bill comes, that is) but it’s a great blessing to be warm on a cold day or cool on a hot day, and for this, I am grateful.

Taste. Considering that Thanksgiving feasting is only a few days away, I am especially grateful for the ability to taste. So what if I am going the easy way, simply fixing boxed stuffing, heating up rotisserie chicken, using bottled gravy, and canned cranberries. (There is no way I’m going to cook a full dinner for a 97-year-old man who would just as soon drink Ensure.) And anyway, the yams will be freshly baked. (No marshmallows or maple syrup, thank you very much.)

Thank you. “Thank you” seems to be disappearing from the world, especially the shopping world, replaced by a casual “there you go.” Eek. I never take “thank you” for granted, but I take all my “thank you”s with gratitude.

Toes. Without toes, we would have no balance, no grace. Even though my balance is poor and my grace often lacking, it’s not the fault of my toes, for which I am grateful.

So, what “T” things are you taking for gratitude today?

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See also:
Taking “A” Things With Gratitude, Taking “B” Things With Gratitude, Taking “C” Things With Gratitude,Taking “D” Things With Gratitude, Taking “E” Things With Gratitude, Taking “F” Things With Gratitude, Taking “G” Things With Gratitude, Taking “H” Things With Gratitude, Taking “I” Things With Gratitude, Taking “J” Things With Gratitude,Taking “K” Things With Gratitude, Taking “L” Things With Gratitude, Taking “M” Things With Gratitude, Taking “N” Things With Gratitude, Taking “O” Things With Gratitude, Taking “P” Things With Gratitude, Taking “Q” Things With Gratitude, Taking “R” Things With Gratitude, Taking “S” Things With Gratitude

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

I’m Declaring This Blog Reader Appreciation Day

As most of you know, this has been a hard couple of years for me. I watched my life mate (soul mate, business partner, best friend) die slowly of inoperable kidney cancer. I survived months of grueling grief. I left my home to take care of my 94-year-old father. I’ve struggled to keep from being swallowed up in the quicksand of emotion and trauma.

Through it all, you’ve been here for me. I want you to know how much every comment, every word of support, every story you shared has meant to me. Even those of you who have never left a comment (so I was never able to thank you personally) have helped me get through this terrible time because I knew you were there, suffering your own traumas. Your presence made me feel as if we were going through this journey together.

And perhaps we are going through this journey together. We are so often in competition with each other we forget that in some intangible way, we are connected one to the other. The internet, though it does sometimes keep us from connecting in the offline world, keeps us connected in a more ethereal way. The internet and computers are fueled by electrons, and so are we.  Somehow the two streams of electrons manage to collide. How else to explain the very real connections we have made though many miles — sometimes half a world — separate us?

So, thank you. Thank you for holding out a virtual hand and keeping me from sinking. Thank you for reading my blog, for caring, for connecting. Thank you for being part of my stream of electrons.

Thank You For a Heartwarming and Heartbreaking Day

On Monday when I logged into my wordpress account, I discovered that my I Am a Three-Month Grief Survivor post had received thousands of views and dozens of comments. A quick check of my stats showed that most of the views came from WordPress. Imagine my surprise when I saw that my post had made the home page. Whew. Took my breath away.

Then I read the comments, and that was the end of breathing for a while. I was awed by the willingness of people to support me in my grief and overwhelmed by the generosity of those who shared their own stories of grief. So much pain. So much sadness. So much love.

One woman posted a link to a list of online communities that could potentially help, so if you are grieving, be sure to check it out. http://www.anachronisticmom.com/Medical-KK/Grieving.html

Another woman posted a quote:

Here at the frontier there are falling leaves…although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away…there are always two cups at my table. – Tang Dynasty

And a third woman told me about “Death is Nothing at All,” a poem by Henry Scott Holland that might offer comfort:

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

It was an incredible day for me,  heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. Thank you, everyone, who stopped by to read or to comment.