16 November 2009

Gratitude

Lately I have been feeling the need to take a few moments and express some thoughts. I'm not sure where the impetus to do this finds its origin - perhaps it's just due to the quickly approaching Thanksgiving holiday.

I have long since realized that I am a creature of habit. I tend to do many things in life in the same habitual way every day. When I shower, the first thing I do is wash my hair and the last thing I do is to shave - always in that order. When I put my shoes on I always put my left shoe on first followed by the right before tying them both. I always push the cereal down in the milk with my spoon before I can eat it (I don't like dry cereal). When I browse through magazines, I always start at the back and flip forward through the pages. You get the idea.

Anyway, the last several months I have found myself picking up one more curious habit. Before I start work each day I like to look through the local obituaries. I'm not sure why I do this. Maybe I've just reached the point in life where it isn't uncommon for people my age to die and I want to see who I've outlived. Whatever the reason, it has given me cause to pause and reflect over my life. Sometimes this process can be a very sobering experience as I have made many mistakes over the years. Occasionally I'm left feeling a bit embarrassed if not ashamed at some of the stupid things I've done during my life. However, more often than not, I am left feeling incredibly grateful for many things I've experienced over the last 43 years.

I am so grateful for my children. Regretfully my marriage to their mother didn't work out like I had planned, but I would make the same mistakes all over again to ensure my boys would be a part of my life. My children aren't perfect and neither am I, but I am constantly inspired by them as I watch them develop talents I could only dream of when I was their age. They have had many challenges to overcome even at this early stage in their lives and yet they have had the courage the deal with them. I love them so much for that. I hope they will always remember the God-given strengths they each possess and use them to bless the lives of others. I couldn't have asked for anyone better to call my sons.

I haven't quite figured it out yet, but for some reason God has blessed me with the most wonderful companion I ever could have hoped for. My sweet wife. I love her so much. She has helped me to keep a spark of hope alive in my heart when I had feared it had long since been extinguished. She has an innate ability to accept and love people for who they are. If only I could be half as good as she is! And with my wife comes two great stepchildren. They are amazing. They have had to share their mother with me and I know that is not an easy thing to do and they have accepted my children as their brothers. I have much to learn from them by way of acceptance.

Most people in general love their parents. I am no different. I have great parents. They have always taught me and my siblings what is right and they have done it by example. I know there have been times when I have disappointed them in the decisions I have made but I always knew they loved me regardless. I will always love them for giving me the chance to spread my wings and grow from life's experiences. We were never really a hugging family growing up and we siblings despised each other at times but today we all love each other and support each other. I really have a great family!

As I read over what I have written I have noticed it is beginning to sound like a farewell of sorts. That is not my intention. This is merely one of those count-your-blessings moments. Everything I have that brings me happiness comes from those people whom God has placed around me. He has allowed me to have a loving wife and children and live in an area that looks like it came straight off a post card. I will always be grateful to Him for that.

Anyway, as I have read many obituaries over the last few years I have come to realize that we never really know when its time to leave this existence to start another. More importantly, I have learned to be grateful for all that I have even though I probably don't deserve most of what I have been blessed with. Hopefully I can always remember that and maybe with Thanksgiving on the near horizon, you can too.

3 comments:

Sister Pottymouth said...

Awwww...what a sweet post. Who knew you had it in you? ;-)

Lesleigh said...

It's funny you wrote this because I have been thinking stuff like this a lot lately too.

And as always you are way too nice to me! I'm really not as nice as you think! But in an effort to be better at accepting compliments...Thank you my love!

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