Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Be Grateful. Always.

IMG_7979.JPGEarlier this fall, I was having supper at my friend Mariah’s house right before Thanksgiving. We were munching on some spaghetti and talking about life when we landed on the subject of gratitude. I had asked her if she had ever had an experience that was extremely difficult to go through but she was grateful for. She shared her answer with me, and then asked if I had ever had an experience like that. I thought about the question, and then told her my answer. My grandpa Dennis has Alzheimer’s disease and my grandma Eva Lee, who passed away earlier this year, had dementia, both of which are diseases that cause memory loss. It’s heartbreaking to see my grandparents battle these diseases and struggle to remember who I am, as well as many other important parts of their lives.

It is because of these challenges that I am even more grateful for the time I spend with them. Before my grandparents started losing their memories, I took much of the time I spent with them for granted. It was simply “another trip to grandma’s house,” and I would spend time watching TV or doing homework, rather than spending time with my grandparents. After the memory loss began, I remembered all of the good times and fun memories I had with each grandparent and decided I would no longer take time for granted because each moment has value that cannot be bought back.

So often in life, we rush through things. We strive to become more efficient, more productive, more competent. We forget our time is limited and that we are not promised tomorrow. What if we cherished every moment? What if we told those around us how much we value them? What if we committed to living a life of love, a life of joy, or a life of gratitude? What if we took a leap of faith and ran away with our dreams instead of holding back and saying “maybe next time”? Think of how different life would be if everyone lived like this!

This holiday season, many of us will be surrounded by friends and family. I challenge each and every one of us to remember the value of time and live in such a way that when we reflect on our lives, we will be filled with gladness instead of remorse. We will be filled with gratitude instead of regret. We will say “remember when?” instead of “what if?”. This holiday season, let’s put down our cell phones and instead focus on those around us. Let’s live in the moment and cherish our time spent with others. We never know where life will take us, so let’s take a moment when we’re surrounded by those we care about and express our gratitude and love for those important to us. This will help all of us live a life we can be proud of every day. We can be grateful, always!

Stationed by the ear of corn,

Wendy Bauman

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