“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
- Thornton Wilder
I am ever mindful of the underground river of gratitude that runs through my heart and what better time than the day before Thanksgiving (for those of us who live in the United States) to reflect on a few of the many things I’m grateful for:
- Sprungli’s famous Luxemburgerli Macaroons – that little bit of melt-in-your-mouth nirvana I sampled (some would say “gorged” on) while visiting my daughter in Switzerland this summer.
- Sucre, a sweet boutique in New Orleans that acts as my stand in when I need to satisfy my macaroon fix and flying to Zurich for a box of delight seems a bit over the top.
- My Siamese cat Sasha, rescued from the local S.P.C.A. one Christmas by my husband, with her startling blue and slightly crossed eyes, and annoying habit of jumping on my lap and rubbing her face against my pen when I’m trying to write.
- Four, count ‘em four beautiful, amazing, unique, life-affirming grandchildren who range in age from 3-1/2 years to 4 months.
- Dr. Syed Ahmad and his entire pancreatic islet cell transplant team at the University of Cincinnati University Hospital where I celebrated turning 53 this past December.
- The birthday present I gave myself this past year that came wrapped up in the soul of a surgeon with skilled hands, a kind heart, and refreshing humility, who worked his magic for ten long hours to give me my life back. Now that’s a gift you won’t find online or in any catalog!
- My hairdresser, who keeps my ever-greying locks that just-right shade of auburn. I have her on speed dial.
- Women who challenge, inspire and lift me up each and every day. C’mon ladies – you know who you are!
- The ability to do my great work, work that feeds my soul and gives true meaning to my life by allowing me to act as a catalyst for midlife career women.
- A second chance to stand on the Khumbu Icefall on the slopes of Mt. Everest or on stage at a TED Conference.
- All the Warriors I’ve gotten to know through the Facebook support group “Life After Pancreas” created by one of my all-time favorite Sheroes, Erin Raney. The women, men, and yes, children kick butt on so many levels as they continue to fight to be healthy and whole when so many others would simply give up. They are my second family.
- A husband and family who stood by me Every. Step. Of. The. Way. Through every conceivable challenge an illness threw at me (at all of us, really) for the past seven years.
- Being alive! Even when it hurt like hell, and especially now that it doesn’t.
What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful to? Let’s start our own river of Thanksgiving right here, right now. Share your gratitude in the comments section below so we can all revel in the joy of being conscious of our treasures. I’ll be grateful if you do…