We had a very big table to get around last night for gratitude sharing. I was very glad that we decided to load our plates first and share while dining. You would expect gratitude for 21 people to take some time, it took us about 20 minutes. Thank you to the person who decided we should share in chronological order of age, forcing us all to not only ponder our gratitude but also our cognitive skills.
Eventually, we got all the way around the table (oldest to youngest, with only a couple slip ups) and some fabulous gratitude was shared...There was plenty of gratitude for good food, good company and good weather, There were a few comedic gratitudes. KJ was grateful that Uncle Rob didn't eat all the green goop, and for the best turkey of life. Mike's mom was grateful that she wasn't as old as Poppa.
Some of the most telling gratitudes came from the youngest members of our dining party. Trooper was grateful for his house, E-man was grateful for pumpkin pie, Tippy-Toes was grateful that his Mom & Dad were nice.
I spent a great deal of time reflecting on gratitude while busy preparing for thanksgiving in the preceding days. Gratitude is a very personal element to my life and I wondered of all the things I have been grateful for in this past year what is the one item that I am most Grateful for? When it came to my turn at the table I shared 'Hope'
'Hope' has been the emotion behind a great many of my gratitudes over the past year after all, and I think it is probably time to acknowledge it.
Hope is a driving force. Hope makes my daughters' smile when they get texts from those special boys they don't want anyone to know about. Hope glints in my son's eyes when he steps onto the ice for his first year of hockey. Hope brings my boys together for some bonding as they cheer on their team. When my sister updates her status that 'tomorrow will be a better day', hope does that. When friends share support and hugs with one another they are sharing hope. Hope got the turkey to the table. Hope keeps the lights on even when the job that pays the bills no longer fulfills your spirit. Hope gives me the strength to be patient when my patiences have been tested past their reasonable limits, that same hope keeps my children from a bottomless grounding. Hope has gotten families through illness and surgeries. Hope brings people home from the hospital and will send a group of co-workers to donate blood to help a friend battle cancer. Hope fills the food bank, rebuilds a town, provides warmth, quiets fear and gives people a reason to try one more time.
Hope has provided me so much to be grateful for in this year of celebrating gratitude. As we shared around the table it was easy to see that hope is the seed from which most gratitude sprouts.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, live in hope, acknowledge your gratitude and share it. A grateful heart can change a life.