Then I am free to go anywhere in the store that I wish. What a luxury! I remember the years when I walked with so much pain that I shopped in small stores and often didn’t finish the list of things I wanted. Without the motorized chair and the ramp outside my home, I would be home bound. Am I grateful? I surely am.
But as I sat in my car thinking of all this, my thoughts went to the rest of the citizens of Bountiful. In comparison to India, Indonesia, China and many other places, look what we have! Just running water and toilets that flush are wonderful things. That doesn’t include electricity, homes, roads, freedom to make choices, educational opportunities, libraries where we can obtain information, etc.
Perhaps this month we should take the time to count the blessings that we do have. Sitting in just one room, I am amazed at how many things I can visually see that I appreciate. How very comfortable so many of us are. I hope we aren’t getting lost in thoughts of things we don’t have, the problems we haven’t solved, etc.
I was getting Christmas presents for my family. My goal was to have them all purchased before Halloween and I just about made it. My reason is that I can only be up a limited amount of time each day and last year I remember the frustration as the car moved slowly in traffic and then I waited in lines to make my purchases. Also, I never know when I will spend a month or so unable to leave the house because of a Post Polio drop that I have no control over and so I wanted to be prepared for my family.
Anyway, a lady in front of me said, “Oh, it looks like you are buying Christmas presents.” I said, “Yes,” and explained a bit why I was doing it so early. And then she said, “What I would give to have a grand child. I don’t have any. No one comes on Christmas day and says, ‘Merry Christmas Grandma.’ We are so lonely. It is a horrible day. I have a son, but he has never married.”
I hardly knew what to say other than, “I’m sorry.” Then I added, “Have you considered taking gifts to the homeless shelter?” I should have added, “Why don’t you invite a family with children and not so much money to spend Christmas day with you?”
As I left the store, my thoughts went to Galatians 5:13, “By love, serve one another.” Thanksgiving can include other people. Service at food banks and food kitchens can be offered. Visits can be made at care centers to people who don’t have visitors. I keep remembering a very special teen who felt left out at school who found such happiness spending some time on a regular basis doing just that.
Thanking God, acknowledging family members for the service they offer, saying “I love you,” and giving hugs are ways to show gratitude. May this month be the best ever because we notice all we have and express gratitude.