Gratitude is not always found in greeting cards or a personal thank you note. It’s not just a pre-determined socially accepted series of words. The truest forms of gratitude grip at your heart and bring tears to your eyes. True gratitude is the essence of life. It is in the faces of your children when you rush to their aide and make their cuts and bruises all better with your kisses. It’s evident in the vocal tones of those closest to you, should you answer their calls when they need you most. It’s found in the kindness of a stranger when you feel totally alone. Within the freedom of an open field, fresh air flowing through your body, the sun kissing your nose, after a deep healing. Gratitude finds you when you need it most. In unexpected places true thankfulness lives.
When my brother passed away after a two-year battle with lung cancer in February, I was grateful that at his moment of passing, each and every person in this world who loved him the most surrounded him. I was grateful I could hold his hand as his spirit passed from his body to its future home. When my son awakens and begins to sing to me, “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when sky’s are grey, I love you mommy!” true gratitude absolutely floods me. This holiday season we will be bombarded by the many ways others define gratidute. Choosing to accept, and create, your own, can be quite beautiful.
Jillian Walker is a mother and freelance writer living and working in Sarasota, Fl. she graduated from New College of Florida in 2009 with a B.A. concentrating in Environmental Studies. Her passion for the health and sustainability of the environment guides her life daily. Other passions include equal rights for women and children and fair working conditions for all.