A Lesson in Gratitude from Grandmom

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We quietly mumbled to ourselves but no one dared to make an objection out loud.  The directive had been given and even though turning off the football game during Thanksgiving dinner seemed un-American there was no choice but to oblige.  The decree had come from my grandmother, Myra Williams, and no one in our family would dare question the matriarch.

Everyone knew the annual activity that was getting ready to occur.  My grandmother had led this activity every Thanksgiving for as long as I could remember.  It was time to gather as a family and share what we were thankful for on Thanksgiving.   Each family member was giving an opportunity to share and mine was usually short and sweet while my grandmother often had a multitude of things she wanted to give thanks for.

I later learned that this was not just a traditional Thanksgiving activity for my grandmother but this was a part of her daily practice.  After she passed, our family read through some of her daily journals and most entries included a daily gratitude log.  The entries expressed her gratitude for family, friends, food, weather, activities, or anything else you could imagine.  It could be something out of the ordinary or the simplest of things but she took time to be grateful for it all each day.  This practice continued until she lost her fight with cancer with logs mentioning how she was thankful for “a delicious cup of soup” days before her death.

Anyone who speaks about my grandmother will tell you how she was a loving, thoughtful, generous, and a kind woman.  She radiated a sense of calm and peace that made her the rock of our family for years.  I can’t help but see a connection between her state of being and her ability to not just give thanks on Thanksgiving but every day of the year.  It left her in a state of abundance wanting to share her love, kindness, and joy with others, instead of a state of lack constantly complaining and wanting.  I am attempting to take this  practice from my Grandmother and incorporate it into my daily life.   I know that if push comes to shove and there seems like there is nothing to add to my list I can always be grateful to have had a grandmother like her.

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