Finding myself sick with a wicked cough and stiff back pain, I am slow to post my Thankful Thursday post. Even though I am quite annoyed at how my body feels like it is literally falling apart, I am still finding several things to be grateful for.

This week has been the week of wonderful announcements. A friend’s announcement of her pregnancy was met with overwhelming joy since she had been struggling with infertility for some time now. Another girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named after her husband’s mother who had passed away several years ago. And another friend excitedly announced her engagement to be married.

Spring has a way of renewing hopes and dreams. My husband and 10 year daughter planted seeds last week and the tiny seedlings are sprouting up in their little peat pots. My heart seems to be shedding the heaviness of winter as I discover each new seedling bursting forth from it’s bonds of the earth.

seedling

Outside, there are now obvious signs of spring as my hellebores, commonly called Lenten rose are now blooming.

Lenten Rose

But even as my heart is full of the hope of spring and the promise of warm sunny days, I find myself saddened by the effects of the cancer that is attacking the body of my dear friend, Linda. She was diagnosed with multiple tumors in her brain not too long ago and now all she can do is lay in her hospital bed, eyes closed, unable to move. Her husband who is a nurse cares for her in their home. Meals are made for their family every day of the week.

You may be wondering why I am including Linda in my Thankful Thursday post. It is sad. At times, my stomach is in knots thinking about what the future may hold. But it is spring and I am thankful for life.

I am thankful for new life – the sound of a baby’s heartbeat in the obstetrician’s examining room, the first cry of a child as she is born into this world. I am thankful for life – the sound of my children talking all at once at the dinner table, my husband giving me a hug before he goes out the door in the morning. I am thankful for life – the breath I take this moment, the steps I take each day, the smell of fresh rain filling my nostrils, the feel of the keyboard under my fingers. And I am thankful for life – seeing Linda smile as I tell her my preposterous stories, touching her hand and stroking her hair. Kissing her forehead as I tell her I love her – not knowing if it will be my last time, but holding those moments in my heart, thanking God for the gift of our friendship.

Often times, when we are reminded of the fragility of life, we are presented with two choices. Either we let sadness and negativity rule our life, or we see life as a gift, a gift of inestimable value. A blessing. Something to be thankful for. Life is precious – all of it.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

~Attributed to Mother Teresa

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Twilight in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Morris County, NJ

If you would like to share your version of “Thankful Thursday” (photos or text or both) in the future, you can link your post to my post on Thursdays in the comments section with the tag “Thankful Thursday”.