Gratitude n. being thankful, appreciation of and inclination to return kindness.
I believe that every day there is something for which we can all be grateful. It can be small or large, internal or external. It can encompass all nature, thought, the physical as well as the meditative. No doubt you have heard the variation of the theme of being alive. The simple, polite inquiry of: “How are you?” will bring an answer like: “Well, I’m still alive” or: “I woke up this morning so everything is good.” My favourite answer is: “Well, I am still on the right side of the grass.” That always brings a smile to my face. I am grateful for that smile.
However, these last few days I have been filled with a special kind of gratitude. It is one that came after my unwanted but necessary visit to the ER. I am feeling poorly, in pain and my number one priority is the care for my Bert. How will I cope? There are so many little chores to see to, too many to count. I was worried but I should not have been. We are blessed by having the sort of neighbours and friends that come to your aid swiftly, competently, caringly, without question.
I am grateful to the Lifeliner who was at the door to pick up the prescriptions and get them filled. I am grateful for the neighbour who instantly took away the worry of getting my Bert to his Day Programme. “Just tell me what time to pick him up and I will take him.” How precious an offer that was. Here is someone my Bert will find familiar enough to accompany without a fuss. I can go back to sleep and with the Valium still coursing through my body, I have no choice, really.
Then there is the neighbour who brought dinner in a beautiful wicker basket which had everything including two lovely serviettes, such a cheerful and most welcomed gift.
I am grateful to the Lifeliners who could give practical, hands-on help and those who could not who sent words of cheer, good wishes and prayers. I even got instructions to turn off the phone.
Once friends heard, the offers kept on coming with a couple wondering why I had not called immediately. When I explained that I was calling the ambulance at 2 A.M. the reply was: “You can call me at anytime. You know that.” Yes, I do and I am grateful.
Our family of friends and neighbours came through like a ray of sunshine to scatter the dust motes of my anxiety. Yes, we do appreciate the kindness and have more than an inclination to return it. That is how kindness works. There is a continuous lightness of being, a positive feeling that things will work out well. I am grateful to all the people who turned my darkness to light.
The Meander: In this troubled world where everything seems so dark, selfish, and full of hate it is good to be reminded that there are so many more people who are kind, thoughtful, caring and filled with the milk of human kindness.