Gratitude is a Verb…

grat·i·tude
grat-i-tood, -tyood]

NOUN
   1. the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

Okay, so Merriam-Webster, Oxford and Dictionary.com all say that gratitude is a noun.  Of course, they also say that about love and we all have heard the argument that love is really a verb.  I feel the same way about gratitude and although the grammar police might come after me for that, it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

Today, February 23rd, is Gratitude Day in my corner of the world.  No, it’s not a National Holiday, in fact there’s a day in September that is officially celebrated as World Gratitude Day, but, because of some really courageous people this day in February is a day set aside to remember that to be grateful is not a feeling but a choice.

You see, almost 10 years ago some friends lost their precious daughter Amelia and her grandmother in a tragic auto accident.  It was the kind of devastation that easily could have torn a family apart but instead, they chose gratitude; they chose it even when they didn’t feel it, even when it was hard; even when it seemed to be nearly impossible.

In my friend’s words from two years ago:

Gratitude Day was born out of the desire and need to focus on the good. My family was devastated by the loss of our daughter (and sister), Amelia in a car accident. My husband also lost his mother in that accident. His mom was 69, and Amelia was seven. They both left this earth before we were ready.

It has almost been eight years, and I have become a willing counselor to other families who have lost their children. When something tragic like this happens, you think, “that happens on the news to other people”. Now I know, it happens to my friends, my neighbors, my community.

So Gratitude Day is for everyone, not just us. It is a day to be thankful we had our beautiful children in our lives. It is a day to also remember we have many blessings. Love, good health, friends, spiritual strength, the blessing of good memories, and the faith that there are many good days to come.”

Amelia would be 17 years old today.  I know that she is proud of the example that her family and those who love her have set.

I have so much to be grateful for.  I wouldn’t even know where to start.  Today I am grateful for these courageous people who have chosen gratitude and set an example that is an inspiration to so many.

Happy Gratitude Day!

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Finding peace in not knowing…

IMG_20130622_100429_688

I had a talk with a good friend this evening.  She moved away from Texas a few years ago and I don’t get to see her nearly often enough.  I miss her.  She’s one of the most talented people I know and has a beautiful gift of song to give to the world.  She’s young and gorgeous both inside and out.   She and her husband are following their dreams and it can get scary.  There’s not a lot of security in the music business.

As I listened I had to fight the urge not to fall back in to old habits of trying to fix things and “advice giving”.  I wanted to have some words of wisdom to offer her.  It’s hard but I’ve learned that’s not my job.  My job is to be present, to listen and to love her.

I’m proud of my friend for stepping out and following her dreams despite the risk.  She told me tonight that she’s proud of me too.  Those words mean a lot.  I’m grateful for my friend; for the courage she shows me, for her love and friendship and for making peace with not having all the answers.

Namaste…