While Webster’s may define gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”, when I think of gratitude, I think of people – real people – with names. Marge. Doris. Allan. Ruth. Elvira. Cliff. Velva. Mary. Bill – Just to name a few.
They ooze gratitude. Gratitude for the lives they’ve lived. Gratitude for the memories they have. Gratitude for those around them. Gratitude for being able to do the things they can still do. Gratitude for their friends and family.
Listening to the stories each tells takes us to a different time. A time when society as a whole seemed to be more grateful. A generation of individuals who understand the value of a dollar and the work it took to make one. Ones who understand from where their food came – their very own garden or maybe a neighbor’s. This gives a real meaning to organic.
Who are some of these people?
A woman who showed Tennessee Walking horses and shares a photo of her sitting proudly atop one of her favorite ones. A man who shares his love of a good gooseberry pie and how long it’s been since he had one. One who shares stories of playing in a band and still loves to play the violin today. One who shares stories of a career as a special needs teacher and how she loved those she taught. One who shares stories of his time in World War II, and as he speaks, anyone can easily tell he’s reliving the moments of which he speaks.
Oh, the history! Oh, the pride of home, family and country! All of us should take the time out of OUR lives to be grateful for all the things the previous generations did to help create the lives and opportunities we have today.
As for this humble member of the Cedarhurst team, I am grateful. To have an opportunity to be part of this generation’s lives at this time of their lives. To hear their stories. To share these stories with children so they will hopefully have a better understanding of our past so that we can better shape the future. There is nothing like it.
For their lives and the influence they have on me each and every day, I am ever so grateful.