Yesterday, as I sat here watching the sun rise I was thinking about the past year. I have gotten older, but, still, I feel younger than I should. I have lost a few friends, gained a few friends, and still have more to meet.
My life, like everyone’s, has been full of ups and downs. But I consider myself very fortunate. I’ve had more ups than downs, and the downs haven’t been all that down. I’m looking forward to the years to come.
Each year around this time I consider where my life has been, where it is, and where it is going. Some years I’ve considered it not so good. Other years I’ve thought it was great. But each year I’ve found something to be thankful for. I’m sure if we all think about it, there are things in our lives we can say that we are thankful for. Here is my list of seven things this year for which I am thankful:
- My family—We may be scattered far and wide. We may not speak for long periods of time, nor see one another for even longer, but I know I have family. For that I am thankful.
- My friends—Friendship is a powerful thing. I have more friends than I have a right to claim. They mean much to me. Like my family, they are spread far and wide. We may not speak for quite long periods, nor see one another for even longer, but when we do it is so comforting to know that we are still friends.
- My health—As I get older I realize how important good health is. I’ve not taken care of myself as I should, but life has been good to me. Maybe it’s the fact that I have good genes, or maybe I have a first-class Guardian Angel. Whatever the case, I am very thankful that the aches and pains I have are small in comparison to what others endure. There are times when I think my sanity could be better, but as long as I’m comfortable with what little I have, then I am happy. Most importantly I woke up this morning. That makes me very thankful.
- That I live in the USA—I am very fortunate to have been born, and continue to reside, in the land of the free. Oh, sure, there are times when I feel repressed, but when compared to the lives of those less fortunate, those that must reside in more restrictive countries, I have to say that I have it pretty good. I am thankful for the men and women in uniform that protect my freedoms and allow me the continued opportunity to enjoy those freedoms.
- Food to eat—I am very thankful that I have enough good food to eat, that I do not have to go to bed hungry. There are so many people in this world that do not have adequate nourishment. For them, especially the children, my heart aches. I wish the entire world could be as thankful as I am that they have enough good food, that they are not forced to go to sleep enduring pangs of hunger.
- Clean water—I am so happy that I have clean water to hydrate my body. That there is enough of it that I can wash my body on a regular basis. I do not have to go in search of a water source, nor be concerned about the drinkability of that water when I find it. I do not have to carry my water long distances, and if need be, I can always purchase a bottle or two of water at the store. The majority of the people in the world do not live with the luxury of clean water. I’m thankful that I do.
- A place to call home—My home may be on wheels, but I have a home. I am not forced to find a place to sleep each night. I do not have to try to stay dry under a roof of cardboard, nor am I forced to shiver under a pile of old clothes while sleeping in a darkened alley. My home is my safe haven. Too many people in this world do not have a safe place to call home. They wander the streets, live in shantytowns, ghettos, and in tent cities. In some parts of the world they sleep exposed to the elements, nothing to protect them from the night, or the heat of the blazing sun. I am thankful for my home.
I’m sure that if I sit here longer I will be able to come up with many, many more things for which I am thankful. I think, though, that you get the idea. What’s on your list?
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.