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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy

This week of Thanksgiving stirs a lot of different thoughts and emotions. Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a time to gather with family and friends, and to consider all the gifts in our lives for which we are grateful. It's almost too unreal to consider what changes our family has gone through in the past few years. In having lost Molly and John to cancer since we were all together as a family for Thanksgiving just 2 short years ago and to still be struggling with Mary's ongoing issues, finding reasons to be thankful can sometimes be difficult. For me, experiencing these tragedies has forced me to be more appreciative and grateful for the little things in the life. I pay more attention to many things that might have gone unnoticed before. These life changing events push me to appreciate the tiny moments in our lives instead of just living for the big ones. It is all of these little things that make up most of our days, and in turn, the bulk of our lives. Letting them go by unnoticed allows so much to slip by unconsciously. I feel like there have been so many days where I just go through the motions, without really considering what I am doing or what is going on around me. I try now try to stop and be thankful for all of the daily things I do that I may feel like chores. Walking the kids to school in the rain. Going for a run. Making a quick run the grocery store every day. Cleaning the bathroom. Getting up before the sun. And to express gratitude for the "little things" that really are gifts in my life: like having coffee with a friend, or a telephone conversation with my family every day, a clear night for the full moon, or the kindness of our good friends, the laughter of my kids, or even to have the chance each year to complain about the winter. And so, I am thankful this week for many things, even as we learn to negotiate through so many life changes. We do so with heavy hearts as the holidays have been a time that we as a family hold so dearly. It would, however, be wrong to not have learned from the past and so we seek to find the gifts in our lives each day.

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to stop and smell the turkey.

Be good. Be strong.


  1. You are not just an 'everyday runner'. You are a 'special runner' who with every step honors your sisters and brothers and your spirit keeps their spirits alive for all of us. You bring the phrase "Be good. Be Strong" to life.

  2. You honor your loved ones every day which brings your 'everyday running' to an entirely new level.

    I am so sorry for why you are running but so honored to be on the team with you.