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Slices of Life

Gratitude 2022 - a new perspective

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November is typically gratitude month. It’s a time for us to take stock of and count our blessings, being mindful of them and appreciating all that life has bestowed upon us. 

We all know we should practice gratitude every day of the year, but heck, like the song says: one out of twelve ain’t bed.

I love gratitude better than a good turkey gravy poured over a big pile of mashed taters on a cool autumn day in November. And I’ve been known to tout this loudly: “Be grateful right now, or I’ll give you something to be grateful for!”

The last two Novembers – supposedly gratitude months – have been difficult for me. And, with a sigh, I admit this year seems to be mirroring the last two. So, instead of being grateful for the normal things (which are great to be grateful for, by the way.) I’m taking a new path, a new route of gratitude. Much like I’ve taken a new route in life.

This year, I am thankful for memories. And feelings. And the life I’ve lived so far (been blessed with so far) because it has been wonderful. We are told not to look back, not to look forward, but to stay in the present, but today I’m indulging myself.

Today I’m taking a peek at the past - with gratitude. Today I give thanks for 33-plus years of wonderfulness and things that surge the gratitude within me.

I am grateful I need to sleep with a weighted blanket because I was so used to being hugged all night long.

I am grateful for the atlas I still keep in the car. You never trusted the app maps on your phone, and preferred to rely on good old paper navigation. I no longer use the atlas, but I’ll keep it forever, because it reminds me of you.

I am grateful for the many years I had someone to dance with at weddings. 

I am grateful you got to see our daughter get married and walk her down the aisle at her wedding. 

I am grateful we raised our children together and they got to adulthood (or nearly so) before you left this earth.

I am grateful for all the youth football games, the hockey tournaments, the voice recitals and the theater productions we attended together to celebrate our kids and our family.

I am grateful for all you did for our family. You were a hands-on dad. You were a loving husband. You took out the trash and cleaned up the cat vomit. You did the dirty work without complaint and often with a smile. You made me my coffee every morning. 

I am grateful for your blue eyes and your smile. 

I’m thankful for the one time you talked me into going for a ride on the jet ski and I held onto you for dear life, because I trusted you and even though the jet ski was far (very far) from my comfort zone, I was able to do it because you were by right my side (or more correctly directly in front of me) during the entire ride.

I am grateful for your proofreading skills. I lost my editor when I lost you, but you continue to help me edit - in your own, new way.

I am grateful for all the times we walked and held hands. I know you did that for me because you know I loved it. Thank you for doing the things I loved, just to make me happy.

I am grateful for 33 years with my best friend and soulmate. I wouldn’t trade them for anything - not a million or a billion dollars. Well, I’d have to think about the billion…

Two years. It’s been two years since you left, and it is so easy to dwell on those two years versus reflecting on the past - the 33 years that came before that. I don’t want to live in the past, but I don’t want to forget it, either. You gave me the last three decades of your life. What a beautiful gift.

Thank you.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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