Friends pondering gratitude at Thanksgiving, for which I am grateful

Family member giving thanks

A few Thanksgivings ago, I posted a request on Facebook (along with a picture of one of my cats because, well, doesn’t almost everyone love cat pictures!)

My Facebook request

I need your help. I want to write a blog post tomorrow about gratitude. Will you tell me one thing that you are grateful for, so I can include it? You can respond to my post or send me a private message. For instance, one of the things I am grateful for is Minu, who wakes me up most mornings by “gently” tapping me on the face with her paw.

My cat Minu

Friends pondering gratitude

Here are the responses I got from my friends.

Vivian I’m grateful for Sunday afternoon cooking, football (I don’t even watch it, but somehow having it on in the background with Matt watching it feels cheerful) and board games with the kiddos. It’s the most peaceful part of my week.

Juanita I am grateful that my health is stable, that my promotion of country music artists is going well and that I’m working with some great people who have become great friends.

Justin Starting on August 9th of this year, I’ve tried to find one thing each day to be grateful for; I haven’t been 100% successful, but I’ve been pretty close. Sometimes I’ve had no reception, a couple times I literally fell asleep, and once or twice I forgot.

It’s been a challenge to post something everyday-sometimes the posts seem deep and meaningful, sometimes they seem trite and insignificant. It’s an exercise; searching for some moment that catches my attention.

I can say with certainty that searching for positive events increases their frequency, just as looking for negatives will absolutely lead you down a negative path, a “birds of a feather” kind of thing.

I’ve seen friends start to post one positive thing. I’ve seen my life become kinder and gentler.

So, as turbulent as the events were that led me to try this campaign, today I can say I am grateful that I am trying.

Patricia I am grateful for my wonderful children, their spouses, and my amazing grandchildren, good health, friends, my pug Jake with his snuggles, my house, and a job I am happy to get up and go to … Oh, yeah … I’m blessed big time!!!

Jan I just received two reports from physicians. I am very grateful that I am in good heath, even though I have been feeling exhausted lately. I am most grateful for my grandchildren, they are always glad to see me and freely share their love. They run to me and scream “Granna” when I pull up …life doesn’t get much better than that. It’s awesome!

Jo-Anne I am grateful for so many good memories of past holidays with my parents, grandparents and in-laws. They instilled the traditions in us that we carry on now and pass on to our children for the next generations. I love that my son-in-law out west texted to find out the recipe for Italian stuffing and that my son makes a point to acknowledge how important family gatherings are.

Jennifer I am grateful for each dawning day, the love and companionship of family and friends, the world seen anew through my granddaughter’s eyes, and the ever deepening friendship with my husband. I am most grateful to still be here.

Nancy I am grateful for a loving husband and two loving sons … and good health to enjoy them!

Mary I am grateful for my fantastic partner of 24 wonderful years of non-marriage who has put up with my flights of fancy, idiosyncrasies, and most recently has taken care of me after my most recent horse related accident (one of many.) And now that I ponder gratefulness, he should be very grateful for me who puts up with his alpha male ego.

Lana I’m grateful for children with kind hearts. In a tough, sometimes cruel world, my boys are still so sweet, innocent & full of joy :).

Monica I am grateful for my close family and friends and to have been raised by the most loving and wonderful parents who have given me many great memories.

Debbie I am grateful for clean water to drink and a free country to love in. That is where I start. Beyond that a thousand other thanks …

Jonathan I am grateful that my son is alive and healthy … 18 years old and in his first year in college. When he was 14 months old he was diagnosed with an ependymoblastoma (malignant brain tumor). Prognosis: <10% chance of survival 5 years post diagnosis. We volunteered for clinical trials at Duke University Medical Center, now the accepted treatment for his type of tumor. I tell him every day that I love him … and the most wonderful thing of all is that he tells me he loves me, too.

Sally Took me awhile, but I am most grateful for the strong young women in my life who are making the world right. My gentle daughter in law Juliane, an educator, my Mexican daughter, Georgina, who has made a path in women’s rights, Heather Storlazzi Ward, who is the environmentalist, Laurie Churchill, who early on, fought to keep women safe and dragged me off to donate blood. These women are silently and actively making the world a better place.

Jo I’m grateful for the family I have around me, whether they are here in Maine or off in another state. I know that if I need them for something, they will be there if they can, whether it is just to talk or to help me out with something. I feel very blessed to have them in my life.

Lora I am grateful for every hardship I’ve had to endure in life. I wouldn’t be the woman I am without those lessons. I know my strengths, my weaknesses, my boundaries, and most importantly … that I’m not done learning!

Karen I am grateful for kindness that I have been blessed to be the recipient of … from close friends, family and those I know but are not close to. It all has touched me so deeply.

May I am grateful for a clean and sparkling house, the smell of turkey cooking and apple cider simmering, a well-stocked bar, the good fortune to celebrate bounty, the sound of small talk and a few good belly laughs, the love of the season, the love of family and friends.

Terrilynn I rejoice in my granddaughter and how she shows me a new life through her eyes!

Jeff I have nothing to be grateful for. Sentenced to work retail. At least Maine has Blue Laws. Don’t have to work for 18 hours of Thanksgiving. I can be grateful for that! Don’t have to be to work until Midnight Friday Morning!

Georgia I am grateful for three wonderful, independent adult children, two amazing grandsons, my husband and pal of 35 years and all the rest of my family.

Thank you, my friends, for your responses. I loved reading them — even the one from Jeff, who was not feeling so grateful. Jeff, I know how you feel. I remember working Thanksgiving Day as a reporter — and doing the annual story about people who had to work on a holiday. I hope you survive Midnight Madness!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.