Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017. What I'm thankful for.

It's been quite the year for me. While 2016 was marked by the deaths of 20 family members or friends, 2017 has been a respite from that kind of intense grief. For that, I'm thankful.

It's been a busy year. Nearly one year ago, I stepped outside my comfort zone and, at 59 years of age, stepped foot into a new office and a new career. I hadn't worked full-time outside of my home since 1982 -- yes, you read that correctly -- yet, here I was starting something new. From voice-over talent, writer, editor, blogger, and speaker to COO/manager of a non-medical in-home care agency in Pittsburgh, I accepted a challenge and lived up to it. For that, I'm thankful.

It's been a scary year, or at least a scary October. On October 3rd, my 70-year-old husband had a massive heart attack and almost died. I was leaving for work when he yelled down and asked me not to leave. Moments later, he told me to call 911. Within minutes, there were six emergency response personnel crowded into our bedroom. As they put him in the ambulance, I was struck with the realization that my husband was dying. My 5'10", 172-pound husband with a cholesterol reading of 121 and triglycerides at 125, was dying.

They didn't fool around once he arrived at the hospital. Rather, they rushed him into the cath lab where they discovered a 99% blockage in his main left anterior artery. Twice, while he was on the table, they had to shock his heart back into rhythm. Two stents later, he was out of the woods.

The thing is, he was this close to death. Had I left for work a few minutes earlier, this post would have a different message and I would bear the title widow once again. But I didn't leave earlier and, today, I'll enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with him by my side. For that, I'm thankful.

This year there have been many more causes for me to lift my heart heavenward and utter the words, "Thank You." But the above three rise above the rest. Every day, I'm met with reasons to sing praises. Sometimes, I have to dig a little deeper to find them, but they're always there.

Today, as you gather around the table to enjoy food, family, and friends, don't skip the most important part. Say thanks for the many blessings in your life. After all, gratitude costs us nothing, but the rewards are deep in riches.

Happy Thanksgiving! Tell me, what are you most grateful for?

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