Several years ago I worked my way through Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It involved an exercise of taking the time daily to write down five things that you are grateful for. At times I struggled (life seemed a bit dark at the time); I recorded things like “my family” or “having a job” or “having a home.” As, I said, this was during a dark time in my life and as I wrote things down, I think I wrote things that I thought I should be grateful for. It was a good reminder each day and it certainly was a help to try to look at the good things.

This past weekend one of my godsons got married. We flew out to Texas to help celebrate the occasion. My oldest son was the best man. This was really a family celebration — a small wedding, but a weekend filled with friends that are more like family than friends. I listened to my son give the toast at the reception. The sense of BROTHERS came through so strongly. This despite the fact that these boys have not lived in the same town since they were 5 years old and have taken very different paths in life. But, they regard each other as brothers at a very deep level.

I had the chance to spent time not only with my son, but my daughter in law as well. When I teasingly made some comment about her not really knowing about the often odd family that she married in to, she responded – “Yes, but I’m glad I did.”

The groom hugged me repeatedly – and the bride, whom I had never met in person was open and welcoming. It seemed that the fact that we were special to her new husband meant that we would be special to her.

So many joys —

So, today, when I think of what I am grateful for, it comes from the heart. I am grateful for these blessings: my children, answered prayers, my friends who always seem to be there when needed… The joy of grandchildren. These aren’t listed because I think I should be grateful. These are the elements of my life that remind me how blessed I am. I sit in awe. I let go of the disappointments and the things I can’t control.