A conversation at work reminded me that I should have begun my One Thousand Gifts journal 11-days ago. It was great watching my husband jot down his gifts on lined paper. I loved watching him re-read it, too, getting all excited over the simple things we take for granted. I’m afraid I let my journal go a month into my excitement for the book. Diaries are a real challenge for me. I can’t write every day. I write when I need to write and that’s not always entries that cause thankfulness. I write for therapy, for release, and hopefully someone will get the lesson in it.
Like grief, it needs a vent to steam and disippiate into the air. Grief, I’ve learned, is a long process. In fact, I believe it never goes away. When someone rips open your life with calculating coldness your recovery is rough, and then, it gets better, you forgive, but grief comes and goes. Sometimes, grief catches you by surprise. A story, an encounter, leaves you swallowing back bittersweet tears. You know you grieve for what you never had in the first place, and seeing those encounters or hearing those stories make you realize you are again wanting something that is not possible—a Norman Rockwell dream. Then, the grief retreats and joy emerges as I see what I have now—so many good people in my life who have helped me grieve and understand and move forward. That’s a gift I delight in writing down every year in my little notebook.
What about you—the person who has endured so many broken dreams and shed many tears—what are you thankful for today amidst your grief?