A Gift of Gratitude

My mom, Icel, at 99 still continues to be my teacher in the attitude of gratitude. She has shrunk in size to 4’6 but her heart has continued to grow.  

For most of her life, she has lived from a place of Gratitude, almost as a state of being within her, a true and deep reality. Even at 99, living in a nursing home. A few days ago, visiting with her, she said to me, “Grateful, I am so grateful!” I stared at her, holding her hand, tears running down my cheeks, wondering – “How can you feel such gratitude when you have so little and feel so poorly? How can you feel grateful when you are not living with your family, as you always wanted, but instead you are living in a nursing home, the one thing you feared the most?”

It has been a slow, gradual decline for mom, and now she is wheelchair bound, her vision and hearing are greatly limited, and she is mentally challenged with dementia. Yet at times, such as this day, she is incredibly clear, filled with love and deeply grateful.

“Grateful? How can you feel such gratitude mom?” She pats my hand and squeezes my arm and says, “I love you. I have known so much love in my life, Bev, I have had a wonderful life.”

Mom has learned the art of turning her attention to what is good and beautiful, giving little attention to what is wrong, or missing, or what she wishes was different. 

 Yes, she continues to be my teacher in this art of living with a grateful heart. So, just for today I will focus on all that I have been given.

How about you? What will you focus on today?