"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven." - Johannes A. Gaertner
I awoke this Thanksgiving to a gray and brown day, which suited me just fine. The quietness allowed me to awaken slowly and thoughtfully, providing me with the luxury of contemplating my many blessings before rising. My mind wandered to my good friend, Mary, who visited Mom and me during the last hours of Mom's life. Rather than deliver the usual platitudes, Mary pressed a small brass leaf engraved with a tiny heart and the inscription "Give Thanks" into my hand and said, "Give thanks that you have had such a wonderful mother and a close and cherished relationship with her." I thought this morning of how Mom chose to experience life, and even her dying process, with joy and gratitude, grace and acceptance. She touched Heaven every day with her grateful heart. Although she was no longer vibrant of body because of her cancer, she was still vibrant of spirit. While giving thanks for the memory of my mother and thinking about this first major holiday since her passing, I found myself also grateful for what is today. My wonderful husband suggested that we dine out as a real departure from our normal Thanksgiving routine. While he ate bread pudding, I ate mince pie, and we both loved every morsel. We cheered on the Packers to another win and we walked at Devil's Lake where the sun came out and all was beautiful. I spoke over the phone with family and friends, exchanging Thanksgiving wishes, and I visited a dear friend who wasn't going to get out of the house today. So, I conclude this Thanksgiving, clasping the little brass leaf, giving thanks for all that was, all that is and all that will be.