If you knew that today was going to be your last day on Earth, how would you spend it? What would you do? Who would you most want to be with? Many of us go about our day, not giving much thought to the end of our existence. It’s usually not until we experience something tragic that we think about those last moments.
Last year, I unexpectedly spent part of my Thanksgiving at a friend’s house – not for a planned social gathering, but because she didn’t want me to be alone after I had dislocated my elbow and spent hours in emergency care the day before. She wanted to make sure that I would be okay. I was grateful for that. And I was okay. Maybe not at first, but eventually. There have been many people who have been there for me like that, through the hard times. For that, I am also grateful. I may not ever be able to repay all the people who have helped me along the way, but I can certainly pay it forward every chance I get.
On this day of giving thanks, it’s natural to reflect on everything that brings us joy, love, and peace. The things we are most grateful for are usually the things we would miss most if they were not part of our lives. Maybe it’s difficult to truly appreciate something when it’s always there. “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Those words are very true.
I’ve dealt with a lot of loss and many changes over the last few years: deaths, friendships, pets, jobs, homes, and health. My world didn’t end after each of those events, but they were definitely life-changing. I’ve faced so many challenges recently that it’s hard not to be grateful when it’s over. That’s not to say that life is perfect now – far from it – but I’m still around to give it another try.
I’m not just grateful for the good things, but I’m also grateful for where the bad things have brought me. When I take the time to quiet my mind and just be in the moment – listening to my breath – I feel the gratitude for all that I am and all that is around me. I don’t want to be just marking my time in manageable bits between one day and some future event.
I want to spend my last day on Earth doing what brings me joy and being with the people who make my heart sing..
This year, I get to spent Thanksgiving with my son. He’s bringing a turkey and I’m going to cook it up and we’re going to enjoy the day. This will be our first Thanksgiving together in a few years. I’ve missed him and I’m glad that I’m close enough to be able to spend more time with him again. I probably don't tell him often enough how grateful I am that he’s my son, but I am.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to be thankful, and I’m grateful for every opportunity.