Reflections of The Day- Gratitude

I’ll readily admit to being biased but this afternoon I watched an angel dressed in white toss flower petals on a white runner. She wore flowers in her hair and each time she tossed her petals a little more joy was spread around the room.  A collection of family and friends witnessed this as did many who were strangers to us. More than a few of them stopped me to tell me about the how the angel I call the dark haired beauty stole their hearts along with mine.

Later on that little girl of mine would come take me by the hand and lead me on to the dance floor and while the rest of the guests ate she and I danced. She put one hand in mine, wrapped an arm around me and then lay her head against my stomach and together we swayed softly to the music. There was something soft and innocent about that moment that swept me away and I could only hope that she felt it too.

I looked at her and wondered what it might be like to have this father/daughter dance again many years down the road. Looked at her and wondered what sort of woman my little girl will grow into and smiled softly. A short time later I danced with my mother and listened as she told me that she couldn’t be old enough to have children who were in their forties.

“Mom, your daughter is the bride and there are 289 kids running around here, most of whom are your grandchildren,” I said. She just smiled at me and asked me to try to remember the moment.

++++++

Many hours later I sit here at the computer and remember the blur that was today and the week that was. It started with a funeral and a celebration of a life that was lived and finished with a celebration of life joined together. My children and their cousins are all old enough to remember this day. It felt good to see them alongside nieces and nephews and to know that they were experiencing something special.

The week, weekend and day were full of change and a lot of laughter and for that I am grateful. I needed those moments and that laughter to help gird myself for the battle that comes. I needed that time to remember what is important and to recharge my batteries because harder moments are coming. Soon there will be days that I wish not to remember and experiences that I wish not to record.

But such is the nature and way of life. We don’t have a choice about these things. Good, bad or indifferent the days come and all we can do is our best. I think that what is hardest for me is the unpredictability and uncertainty of these moments. Sometimes I would treasure and celebrate these things but not now.

I am ready for what is coming to arrive so that I can get it behind me and move on to the more important and pressing things. But at the same time I am grateful for what I have and the knowledge that the hard times have moments of beauty and grace. The story only ends when you give up. Until then each page waits for you to turn it so that you might write upon it.

The future calls to me and I must answer.

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29 Comments

  1. TheJackB August 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    @BrandonPDuncan Thank you. These moments feel like they are few and far between so I do my best to try to record and take note of them. I know what you mean about that fuzzy feeling, it is indescribable and exceptional.

  2. BrandonPDuncan August 16, 2011 at 11:50 am

    At risk of losing my ‘man-membership’ I will tell you that this was very sweet, Jack.

    I always love when I get those little moments with my daughters. The older they get, they seem to be further apart, but they make me feel all fuzzy, you know?

    Well written piece, brother.

  3. TheJackB August 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

    @EricaAllison Hey Erica. No worries. I know all about the summer/work/kid dynamic. It really eats up huge chunks of time but the little ones are worth it. They are a never ending source of joy.

  4. Soulati August 16, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Sweet The Jack, call me friend.

  5. EricaAllison August 16, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Jack, you’ve had a lot going on in your life lately and you’ve wrapped up so beautifully here. Thank you for sharing it with us. I love it when life gives us the perfect ‘yin’ to our ‘yang’: a funeral at one end of your spectrum and a joyous wedding at the other. Puts our lives right back into balance and as you alluded to, shore us up for what inevitably lies ahead.

    Long time no chat and I’m sorry for that, Jack! Life has a way of doing that to us. We’ll catch back up soon!

  6. KDillabough August 16, 2011 at 3:38 am

    @TheJackB@Lori Jack, your writing is always a song and a soundtrack, pure poetry to me.

  7. KDillabough August 16, 2011 at 3:37 am

    @TheJackB@girlygrizzly Love the quote: love the post. So good.

  8. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    @girlygrizzly Hey Amber. No, I am not alone but what is coming is mine to face on my own and though I have much support I still will stand or fall on my own merits. I am ok with that, just tired of waiting.

    I am not one for giving up on most things, but that Churchill quote is always worth reading again.

    @KDillabough

  9. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    @Lori Hi Lori. Music is a constant companion of mine and it is rare for me not to write without some of it playing in the background so it makes perfect sense to me to have a soundtrack.

    The hard part is trying to figure out which songs should go where. 😉 I am standing there right next to you trying to fill those empty spaces with gratitude. It is a habit worth forming.

  10. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    @bdorman264 Hi Bill. It is not always easy to smile but I am such an ornery fellow it makes me happy to give my hard times the finger. All this stuff provides endless amounts of blog fodder.

    But I try to focus on gratitude because it is the kind of habit that is worth developing. Hope you had a good Monday- see you around the block tomorrow.

  11. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    @Kristen @ Motherese Hi Kristen. Thank you. There is a part of me that is anxious to meet the woman who is coming but most of me is perfectly happy to wait. I am forever surprised by her- she is simply amazing.

    And that helps make weeks like this one become a bit more tolerable. Thank you again for your kind words.

  12. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    @Jk Allen Hey JK, how are things in your world? I really appreciate your stopping by. I only know how to do this blogging thing one way and that is to let it all hang out there.

    I suppose that when we have lived a little bit and seen a few things it makes it easier to appreciate how many good things we have as opposed to what we don’t.

    Hope you have a great week.

  13. girlygrizzly August 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Jack, my friend. What an absolutely beautiful piece. I have been trying to read this since this morning, and just couldn’t because of too much going on, it has been lost three times due to my inactivity! (As if!) I am home now and @KDillabough said to get my butt over here, first, so here I am! (Both of you have been up waiting to be read ALL DAY!! LOL

    Whatever is coming, you are NOT alone. (Just remember that, ok?)

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. “The story only ends when you give up. Until then each page waits for you to turn it so that you might write upon it.” Jack. Dude. “Never, never, never give up!” ~ Winston Churchill. Your friend, Amber-Lee

  14. Lori August 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Jack,

    Why is it that when I’m reading this beautiful emotional piece there is music coming to me from the TV in the other room which has served as a soundtrack that goes with it perfectly (I think, the lyrics are in French, but I get the feel of it!) Maybe all your posts should be put to music. You’ve gone through a funeral and a wedding all in such a short window of time, and here you are, capturing the poetic moments and tossing them like white flower petals so we can all feel it with you.

    I’d say that’s a writer.

    I’ve been trying lately, to fill the empty spaces in my thoughts with gratitude. There is no better way to fill them, is there?

    Lori

  15. bdorman264 August 15, 2011 at 11:21 am

    And we must never give up; very well written sir.

    It’s good you can take the beautiful moments and treasure them, especially with the emotional roller coaster not only the past week, but this whole year.

    In spite of it all you can take the time to be thankful, which is a good mindset indeed.

    Hang in there buddy, thanks for sharing this today.

  16. Kristen August 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Beautiful, Jack. Truly beautiful. You paint such a vivid picture of your daughter. I can just imagine her walking down the aisle.

    What a week your family has had. May the joy be multiplied and the sorrow lessened in the weeks ahead.

  17. Pingback: Thankful? Appreciative? Yes, please and thanks

  18. Jk Allen August 15, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Jack!

    Man, you write with such vivid imagery and emotion. I love it.

    I’m a gratful guy. Seeing some of the things I’ve seen, compared to my life today…I have nothing but gratitude within me. And gratitude for you, for being so inspirational!

    Thanks!

  19. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

    @psychicjazz It is sometimes hard to be present in every moment, but it provides so much value that it is hard for me not to try.

  20. psychicjazz August 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational post Jack. Gratitude is always an important key in life. It can be the foundation for not being stuck in unhealthy unforgiveness or fears, but living life fully each moment and always with new eyes.

  21. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 9:04 am

    @KDillabough Kaarina, it is always nice to see you here. If I can paint that picture consistently I am a happy guy. Hope you are enjoying your Monday.

  22. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 9:04 am

    @Al Smith Hi Al. Gratitude Monday sounds like a wonderful endeavor.

  23. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

    @GracefullyYours When I was younger I hated being told about how much influence my attitude could have upon my day. It struck me as a throwaway line someone found in a tired greeting card and not something to be considered.

    Maturity has helped understand that there is more than a little wisdom in that. So now I try to do my best to be positive about whatever I encounter.

    Thank you for visiting, hope you come by again.

  24. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

    @BetsyKCross I agree. Sometimes the simple things have the most power.

  25. KDillabough August 15, 2011 at 5:36 am

    As always, Jack, you paint a picture with your words that comes to life in my eyes and my heart.

  26. Al Smith August 15, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Thanks for this Jack. I wrote my blog on Gratitude, also. Hoping to start a new trend or theme. “Gratitude Monday”. This blog will surely help. Thanks.

  27. GracefullyYours August 15, 2011 at 4:51 am

    I love how you ended this. A very uplifting reflection.

  28. BetsyKCross August 15, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Hi Jack,

    “She just smiled at me and asked me to try to remember the moment.”

    That touched me. I’m trying to have that attitude! There’s wisdom and power in that statement!

    Thanks.

    Betsy

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