Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Tomorrow I'll turn off my 5am alarm, dress in the dark and go to work.....just another 12 hour shift, shared with strangers that have long become friends....in a house of sorts that has also become home...hoping to hold a hand, touch a heart...make someones day a little brighter. There's very little glamor in being a nurse....long hours, few breaks, long days spent trying to make the most out of life when our patients have often been handed the worst. It's a physical job...lifting, pushing, pulling, rubbing, walking....and an emotional roller coaster of a shift. As a nurse, we pack the days before a holiday working hard to leave behind us the "prepared" memories we don't want our family to miss......with specific instructions written in longhand on notebook paper for our husbands or children to muddle through, without us. Like the firemen...or the police....like the men and women of the military....my life is not...nor has ever been a Monday through Friday with holidays off kind of life. And I wouldn't have it any. other. way. But my life is colored with simple joys....and for that I am grateful. My life is lived in blues and purples and golds and reds....and in each day, I am reminded of my blessings, and they are, indeed....enough. In each Monday off and every third weekend and holiday worked...I have been blessed. My life has been filled with friends and family that have accepted me for what I am...what I can give...and for them, I am enough. They have never complained when I wasn't there to share the rolls I baked at 3 am before I left for work....but they'd call and thank me for them...and that was enough. I was only there to watch the Macy's parade with them every other year....but we made our own memories by meeting at the hospital cafeteria to share the Bryan Hospital rolled turkey....and that was MORE than enough...they always left stuffed! So today, in the dark, on the way to work....(with the Christmas music playing loudly on Thanksgiving Day, Joe....only in the car, where you don't have to hear it! :)...I will remind myself just how much I have to be grateful for. For the time our children can find in their busy, busy lives to share a meal with us...for that I am grateful. For the best 11....YES, 11 grandchildren.....Tyler, Keegan, Nathan, Cameron, Kenzie, Masheala, Kaiden, Tayah, Koko, Decklan and Norah....I am so very grateful! For the best co workers I could hope for to spend my holidays with.... Phil, Kathy, Pam, Denise, Shannon, Brenda.....I am grateful. For Joe....who has my coffee ready when I wake, calls me during the day, just to say "I love you" and worries if I"m late....I am grateful. And today... I will remind myself that this life of ours we've made.....is so very much enough!