After being through life-threatening illness – twice – I appreciate everything and endeavor to never take anything or anyone for granted. Maybe I go overboard to ensure that I thank everyone; however, I am sincerely grateful for kindnesses bestowed upon me by people and by God.
Also, I grew up with love and discipline; but, I didn’t grow up with lots of money. My husband says that I can “out-poor” him anytime – it’s a running joke when anybody talks about things they did without while growing up. His father was a Methodist minister and my dad was a schoolteacher. Neither of our mothers worked outside the home – there was plenty to do inside the home.
I grew up out in the country without running water or indoor plumbing – this was still common in the 1950s. We heated with wood, didn’t have a heater in our truck – they weren’t standard equipment in the 1940s. So, I really appreciate being warm, turning up the thermostat, getting into a nice hot bath, and just walking into the other room when I have to get up at night.
I worked hard to put myself through high school and college while juggling married life and parenthood. I have lived through happy marriages – and miserable divorces when they ended. I raised 3 children, juggled all of their activities, while working in corporate America for 3 decades. I cared for and buried my parents. I have faced death through severe illness and now understand that I shall be recovering and working to regain what strength I can for the rest of my life.
What I have learned from all of this is to appreciate the good days and the good friends and family – they help you get through the hard days. The good and true ones will stick by your side through it all – and the rest will fall away. Do your best every day to make a difference – even if it’s just to smile at someone, you just might change their life. Life can change and can come or go in the blink of an eye – so, be grateful for today and what blessings you can find in it. There are still blessings all around – if we just open our hearts to give and receive them.