Sycamore, IL, USA
Not trying to play a trump card or sound haughty, but I've seen 70 very diverse years of life. I'm learning still, things are not always as they appear. Often we're looking for some little thing to be thankful for or happy about while taking for granted the huge blessings we have. Ask anyone who survived the hurricanes losing only their homes, jobs, schools, neighborhoods and every possession, they'll tell you what thankfulness is. Ask Joni Erickson Tada, who's paralized from her neck down, she'll tell you why life sucks and how a change of attitude (not circumstances)brings joy. She travels far and wide encouraging others now, paints holding the brush in her teeth, has written very inspiring books, laughs, and loves.
From others, I've learned not to remain locked in sorrow over the death of my son, but thank God for the years I had him. He came home, out of work, and funds at age 34. He worked at jobs he didn't care for while looking for openings in his favorite work. He was with us 9 months, his last Thanksgiving, Christmas and Birthday before he was killed by a train. Now I thank God he was out of work and funds or he wouldn't have spent those last months with us.
Our daughter, at 38, died of stem-cell transplant complications, leaving 3 teenaged children and her husband. Then I learned how many people she'd helped through these very blue pages. Was I hurt? YES! Yet, I'm so very thankful for the children she had, and the wonderful help others found through her poetry and relationships formed here. During her ordeal and following her death, I learned to treasure the same wonderful caring poets that grace these pages. Did her death deal me a blow? You bet! Can I find blessings here? An abundance.
Thus, I now understand we cannot appreciate light without darkness, health without pain, sweet without the sour, sunshine without the rain, or warmth without the cold. Perhaps if we aren't thankful, it's because we've never had to experience the hunger, thirst, deep sorrow, bitter cold, lonliness and painful sides of life.
Please think on these things.
P.S. It was faith in God that allowed my daughter to endure all she did during her cancer treatment and me to be assured I'll be with my children in heaven eternally.