The Spirit of Gratitude and Thankfulness

A great and wonderful man died last week, and the impact it had on me was almost like losing a parent. The farm background of this man from rural Wisconsin influenced him, and this painting reminded me of the simple life of a farm family.

My Background

The life of a person who thinks not just him or herself but of others, that is a noble goal. My parents showed me that helping others was a joy, sometimes almost a duty, especially when dealing with people who fell into hard times or needed help of some sort. The people around me as I grew up were not anxious and striving to get wealthy, they wanted a balance in their lives, a comfortable living with good friends and relatives, and a community that let them live a complete existence. It is because of that that I want to lay out what I’m thankful for, to feel gratitude, and to make sure that I don’t forget about the fortune that I’m living with few hinderances and few negatives.

Health and Wellness

The main trait I have is health, a situation where I am comfortable and well fed, and that I’ve had heart problems in the past but they’re in the background. I look around and see people with cancer and other life threatening diseases and conditions, curious as to how I’d handle them. Maybe I’d just make what I could out of each day.

The day this hit me when I sat in the steam room at the YMCA, a young family man with a healthy body and just having finished a workout, basketball or a racquetball game. In walked an older man, in his 80s, grunting and uncomfortable, steaming up after a massage. The man was a millionaire, a member of a papermaking family who had zero worries about money. But his days were numbered, and he looked uncomfortable and in need of help. In fact the masseuse ? had to help him get dressed before he went home. To me it was a thought, a feeling, and I didn’t say much to anyone, but I stored it for later use. And besides, he was a terrible tipper. That added to my feelings and memories of this man. Health continues to be a concern, and as soon as I feel assured and thinking that I’m just great, a cold hits or a sore muscle makes me moan when getting up or getting out of the car after a long trip. As I get older and notice what’s going on at church, much of the love and concern that people demonstrate has to do with health and the frailty of the human body.
The place we live is wonderful, and living here has been a joy.

More . . . .

My greatest appreciation goes to a good childhood with loving parents.

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2 Replies to “The Spirit of Gratitude and Thankfulness”

  1. so sorry for your loss. Sounds like a wonderful childhood.

    1. Hi Sherrie, I’m confused. What loss? Are you talking about Duane, he was a friend but not my father. Was in Freedom on Monday but didn’t get a chance to try to visit your cafe.

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