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Gratitude at Christmas, 2010

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Based on Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Gratitude Journal, I began the practice of writing five things I’m grateful for at the end of every day at least fifteen years ago. Finally I let go of the need to write them down, and now tick off of at least five things to be grateful for as an internal mantra to calm myself and get ready for sleep.

This has been a rough year – Elliot was in the hospital on January 1, 2010 and now is back there, with four hospitalizations between; Heather’s unemployment of 22 months was briefly interrupted by a seasonal job which ended last week and now she’s sick with a cold and tonsillitis — but as I got ready for sleep last night, I easily found these five reasons to be grateful:

1. For all the times Elliot’s in-chest defibrillator has gone off this year (11 times; six just yesterday!) I have not personally witnessed a one. I’ve always been out of the room, or out of the house when the surge of electricity saved his life.
2. Though we aren’t having our Christmas dinner on Christmas Day this year (Elliot is in the hospital; Heather is sick at her house), all the necessary food is ready and waiting for willing hands to prepare.

3. Coming in my front door, I feel loved. The door itself is adorned with a new wreath that Stacy and Alan sent. This year’s Christmas cards are taped to the hall closet doors, to let us know we are loved by family and friends from all over the globe.
4. My reasonably-priced cell phone plan that allows me to access the internet and to txt to those young family members and friends who most easily relate through txting.
5. Memories of Christmases past – trips from Arizona to my West Texas homeland, seeing Christmas lights on houses and luminarios on every downtown rooftop in Tularosa, NM. Meeting up with other family members now scattered across many states ending our pilgrimage at the Christmas Tree at Carr’s Chapel on Christmas Eve. The house of our childhood filled with laughter and presents. The weather often laced the trees with ice or snow, and the kids pretended they were smoking, blowing their warm breaths into the chill night air. There were the years that cousin Gayno brought fireworks that we set off in the dirt road in front of our house, watching Roman candles shoot up into the foggy sky. Unwrapping presents together on Christmas Eve, enjoying Mother’s home-made Boiled Custard (a recipe dating from the Civil War), which guaranteed there’d be Angel Food cake for dessert the next day, to use the egg whites. Waking up to Santa’s overnight visit, no matter which generation was the recipient of Santa’s largesse. Driving back from Texas to Arizona on New Year’s Eve, fireworks visible for miles across the prairie land, one small town after the other!

Written by bethkoz

December 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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