Gratitude All Around Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 462

Laurel and I had a truly humbling experience last Friday night while leading worship services for the residents at the senior living facility with which we have been associated for nearly 10 years. Being that we are only there once a month and we were approaching the holiday, we focused on Thanksgiving and its meaning. For many of our friends there, this year will be yet another Thanksgiving inside the building, separated from family, as Covid restrictions are back in full force. They have suffered through the pandemic, isolated, many of them sick, and tragically, many passed away.

So, what can they be grateful and thankful for we asked? Together, we combed through the worship liturgy for clues. We all agreed on the following list of things we found in prayer, for which we say thank you every day, without having to search very far or delve in too deep.     

  1. For the food that we eat we pray prior to eating and recite grace after the meal.
  2. Upon rising, we say thank you for our souls and returning us to life.
  3. For our health and the health of our family and caretakers, medical assistants and staff.
  4. For all the wondrous gifts of nature and beauty all around.
  5. For the new beginnings and knowledge gained and shared even into our 80’s, 90’s and beyond.
  6. For our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
  7. For the beautiful residence, apartments, décor and abundant activities available.
  8. For friendships and the creating of new relationships with people who began as strangers and in whom we have found common interests, history and life experiences.
  9. For each new day which is never promised but is truly a blessing.
  10. For reaching this season of our lives, the autumn/winter season of the year and the season of Thanksgiving.

For all these things and more, our seniors shared that gratitude is found in each breath, each day and in living fully each and every day even as they know their days are waning.

We have a lot to learn from them and for that, Laurel and I are truly grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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