Whether dear or troublesome, fulfilling or disappointing, joyful, mediocre or painful, I am truly grateful for every moment that has occurred throughout my lifetime. As are we all, I continue to be a work in progress, and have much to learn. I'm where I am at this moment because of everything that has happened throughout my lifetime and I am so grateful to each person who has shared with me their caring, warmth, friendship, love, and yes, their encouragement to see and experience things in a different light. Each and every experience has been an opportunity in which to learn, grow, challenge, foster, nurture, and mature into the woman, mother, aunt, cousin, and valued friend I long to become, and for these moments I will always be grateful.
Especially during the last few months, I've had the opportunity to think about the meaning of family. This past week, I was made aware, once again, how thankful I am to have been able to share my life, to create a history, with this amazing group of people. From Ethan to Grandma June, our family is quite large in number, but within our own little segment, we have four children. Kelli, our oldest, seems the head of our group--thoughtful, brilliant, a story teller, motivated, generous, easy to laugh, a list maker, a problem solver, loving partner, mother, sister and daughter, the co-captain of her ship, a multi-tasker beyond belief, a planner and a doer. Kristin is the spirit of our family--effervescent, passionate, bright, quick witted, joyful, ever on the go, determined, a people person, loving wife, mother, sister and daughter, leader and devoted friend who finds her purpose in giving of herself. Brian--the heart of our family, is kind, gentle, a peace maker, wise, consistent, intelligent, truthful, clever, compassionate, a giver, never misses a beat, and is quite often, very funny. And our youngest, Julie, is the hands of our family--creative, artistic, beautifully expressive, energetic, focused, dedicated, willing to step out on a limb, eager to try something new, brave, optimistic and can literally draw circles around all of us. Each of us in our family, and in our extended family are clearly unique, yet while separated by thousands of miles, we share so much in common. Most gratefully, we are woven together with the threads of time and the power of love.
Recently, a friend suggested a book by Mitch Albom entitled, "The Time Keeper." You may recognize the name of this author if you are familiar with his books including, "Tuesdays with Morrie." In this latest novel, Albom reminds us that perhaps the desire we should nurture is not one of wanting more time here on earth, but that of using the time we have been given most wisely. What a precious gift time is. Time allows us the opportunity to know one another, to create a history, to make amends, to ask forgiveness, to feel joy, to heal, to experience and live life. Each of us have been given this gift of time and I couldn't help but being overwhelmed with gratitude as I watched my family work and play together still loving one another after so many years. Time has been kind to our family and I couldn't be more thankful.
I love that from the moment we are born, our lives become a journey. Whether our destination is clear in our mind almost from the beginning or whether it is a bit more opaque and planned along the way, our journey is one filled with unexpected opportunities. Thankfully, quite often paths that crossed earlier in life cross again at some point and it is these unexpected connections that so often allow for renewed friendships, new insights, and a more mature level of understanding and compassion. Am so very thankful for being in touch again, for paths that have crossed more than once in my lifetime, and for this gift of maturity and deeper understanding.
Perhaps, as I reflect upon that for which I am truly thankful, I feel most grateful for the continued love of my children. On this most beautiful of Autumn days, it is with utmost gratitude I thank my children for their patience, understanding, forgiveness, laughter, wisdom, and creative spirits, for their hugs, and kisses, text messages, phone calls and emails, and yes, where applicable, for my grandchildren. Thank you, Kelli, Kristin, Brian and Julie, my family, near and far and my friends, old and new, for every minute of time we've spent traveling together on this journey. You, and this time, are truly precious to me.