Sunday, December 31, 2017

Gratitude—#4




Mom, Dad, my brother, and I
 at the Swope Park Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1939.

During December, I have been posting about gratitude. I’ve saved the best for this last Sunday of 2017. This past year has been somewhat difficult for me. However, friends and family members have generously helped me with the gift of phone conversations, blog postings and comments, or chatting while riding to doctor appointments, shopping sprees, and restaurants. All of this meeting—via phone or presence or blogs—helped me let go of my own self-absorption.

I am deeply grateful also to Julian of Norwich, a 14th century mystic, who said, “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceedingly well.” While sometimes my belief that all shall be well has dimmed, mostly I have been able to stay positive about my life. Julian has been a true friend to me.

For all family members, friends, and bloggers, I am deeply grateful.

In the remainder of this post, I’m going to look to the past and mention others who have helped me become who I am today. I’ll begin with those who raised me, especially my mom and dad. They always said, “Dolores, you can do anything you put your mind to.” They never dismissed the hopes and dreams I had for my future.

Mom frequently said, “Dolores, you find what you look for. If you look for good, you will find it. And if you look for bad, you will surely find that too.” Those words are the foundation of my whole approach to life. They keep me positive. Only when I don’t get enough sleep or enough socializing do I sink into self-pity and self-absorption and forget Mom’s words and Julian’s.

My brother, too, taught me while we were growing up and when we were young adults. One day after he'd married, he talked to me in his garage and encouraged me to enjoy the present moment and not to always worry about the future. He has been and is a blessing in my life.

I also remember today my Aunt Dorothy who had a satisfying career as a single woman in the mid-twentieth century. She became the model for me. I remember, too, my Great-Aunt Pearl and my Great-Uncle Clarence. Content with their lives, their simplicity spoke to me even when I was a child. They helped me understand that “less is more.”

As to those who educated me, I could mention every teacher’s name here. The two I most remember from grade and high school are 1) Sister Mary Lee, who incited in me a love of poetry, and 2) Sister Mary Edith, who made Latin exciting.

I want to mention three college professors who taught me as much by example as by instruction: 1) Sister John Marie: Her teaching ability influenced me when I, too, became a teacher. 2) Sister Juanita: Ancient Greece enthralled her. She passed that on to me and I’m writing a novel about Bronze-Age Greece. 3) Sister Jeannette: Her generosity of spirit filled me with awe.

I was fortunate also in the women and men who taught me in grad school. Professor Sibley stands out because he stressed ways to look for the peace-filled possibilities to every situation.
Now to all those who befriended me during my life. I am so fortunate in my friends but I want to mention one especially—Yvette. She saw me through the eighteen terrorizing months of my progressive and intractable Meniere’s Disease. We spoke each day so that she could be sure I hadn’t fallen and injured myself. In a real way, she kept me alive.

I am grateful to all those who raised me, taught me, and befriended me in the past. They helped me become who I am today: a contented woman with a passion for writing and a spirit filled with gratitude for the wonder of all of you who have touched my life with goodness. And . . . a woman who is deeply grateful for the unconditional love of cats with whom she has lived.

Peace.


19 comments:

  1. I often wonder if we are "made", or simply accompanied along the way by like spirits. Your spirit has infused far more than you will ever know. And all shall be well.

    Peace and love to you in our new year.

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    1. Dear Joanne, thank you for this lovely comment. I think you, too, have "infused far more than you will ever know." We touch one another's lives for good or ill each day with our words, our actions, our facial expression, our very spirits. This is something I think that both you and I know and appreciate. Peace in the new year.

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  2. Both you and Joanne are positive and inspirational blessings. And I thank you both for it, from the bottom of my crowded heart.

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    1. Dear Sue, my heart often get crowded too with gratitude for all the friends--like you--whom I've made throughout my life. They have, as Joanne said, "accompanied" me along the way. The way for all of us is, I think, full of possibilities for growth in the human spirit. Your Australian photographs of birds and all the flora and fauna there fill my spirit with awe and gratitude for the wonder of our world. Thank you. Peace.

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  3. Thank you, Dee, for your engaging post. Your words always inspire deeper lookings-into the gifts I've been given. May you have a just-challenging-enough New Year, with much peace and joy.

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    1. Dear Deanna, isn't it a wonder thing that we can inspire others. Or rather, the Spirit--the Pneuma--within us does so. thank you for the wish for the new year--just challenging enough! I like it! Peace.

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  4. Thank you for this uplifting and gratitude-filled post, Dee. I know you are continuing to grow and thrive in these months and years as we travel along our paths to the destination we will all share at some point in the future: reunion with the true nature of love and peace. Sending you my heartfelt hope that this coming year will be filled with joy. :-)

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    1. Dear DJan, what a wonderful thought--that we will at some point all meet in the future. How merry that will be and, as you say, filled with love and peace. Thank you for the hope that joy will fill my life this coming year. I'm feeling so creative and thus, so joyful right now because for me, writing is the deepest prayer I do. And that is joy. Peace.

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  5. My dear friend Dee,
    Your life has touched & has been touched by many people, some of whom you are not aware. Think of it as your own "butterfly effect". You have brought joy & peace to many of us, including, but certainly not limited to, myself. I wish you a happy, healthful & peaceful new year!!

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    1. Dear Fishducky, the wonder is that we all have our own "butterfly effect." That's the Oneness that speaks to me--it's my spiritual tradition! May your new year be happy and healthful and peaceful also. We're in this together! Peace pressed and overflowing to you.

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  6. This is a lovely recall of those that surrounded you in life and encouraged you to be splendid person that you are. May 2018 be good to you.

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    1. Dear Arleen, we all have so many people who have affected our lives for good or ill. The wonder of growing older. . . and yes, . . . older!!!! is that I can now look back and see that all has worked out to good. That is a blessing and a gift for which I am most grateful. May 2018 be good to you as well--healthy and peace-filled.

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  7. You have really been blessed with some special people in your life. Like your Mother, I do believe we find what we seek and the trick I have trouble remembering is to only seek the good.
    Remember, as many that have effected you positively, think of those you have effected the same through out your life. We are all ripple makers.

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    1. Dear Patti, I so like the expression you used for all of us--"ripple makers"!!! That says so well what each of us do--send ripples through the Universe. It's the "butterfly" concept that Fishducky mentions in her comment above. So our butterfly winds ripple the air and we bring good or ill to others. Thank you for this image. Peace to you this year--and health!

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  8. And I am grateful to have met you on the blogs and that you are a part of my life, a dear friend. I wish for you peace and good health in the new year.

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    1. Dear Inger, I wish you the same for this year. Let us walk forward into the life that awaits us today and each day of this year. Peace pressed down and overflowing.

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  9. What a Sublime attitude dear Dolores!!!

    I am overwhelmed by your gratitude and positive energy!

    Thank you for sharing this PRECIOUS photo Ah.. .such golden memories are always refreshing for soul.

    I tried to teach same as your mom taught to you .
    You are so lucky to learn all the positive things from your parents, teachers and friends yet I believe that either you must have influenced their lives with your beautiful approach to wards life.

    I hope and pray that my you live an easy and pain free life amen

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    1. Dear Baili, I do believe that we touch one another's lives for good or ill in every encounter we have. I regret any encounter that has left people feel disrespected or unheard. But I'm sure that sometimes I've not touched peoples' lives for good. And so I simply began anew each day. That's all any of us can do. Peace.

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  10. For some reason I have not been receiving email notifications of your posts. So here I am, catching up! Like you, I have been fortunate to have some wonderful teachers in my life, beginning with my mom and dad. I know everyone isn't so fortunate and I always try to keep gratitude an important part of each day. Thanks for the reminder, Dee.

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