Posts Tagged ‘appreciation’

A friend used to joke, “I’m like marble. I don’t want to be taken for granite.”

So goofy.

It’s true though. No one wants to be taken for granted.

But most of us do take people and things for granted at times. We just don’t think about it on a daily basis. Until we don’t have them.

Last Spring, my neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur lost internet connection for the entire day. Thank Jesus for the fancy iPhones so everyone could whine about it in group chats.

Wait, don’t folks around the world lose water, electricity and more every single day? If they even ever had access to them at all.

Luckily, I was out running errands. So the internet outage didn’t totally destroy me. And I had my phone 🙂

One of the errands was dropping off a carload of donations to a housing complex where many refugees live. It made me realize the clothes and household items we can sometimes take for granted.

That afternoon, I went with my then 12th grade daughter to school for her last day as president of a club she started three years ago.

This club allowed refugee students from a nearby volunteer run school to be bussed to her campus so they could play games, use the sports facilities, etc. It made be conscious of how something like a simple school campus can be taken for granted.

I was watching these lovely young girls and boys playing basketball and cheering for each other. Kids from Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

So many children displaced from so many countries around the world. Due to war and violence. A stark reminder that we can take our security for granted.

As my daughter was saying goodbye to her refugee friends they told her, “We will miss you.”

One young girl told her, “You’re so lucky you can go to college.”

Okay, wow. My daughter never really looked at it like that. It was taken for granted that there would be the opportunity for her to attend college.

Now this is totally human. We don’t tend to think about these things-these absolute gifts- all the time. Or think about the people-these absolute gifts in our lives- all the time. It’s really not sustainable to constantly be in a state of such focus.

But we should take more time to realize who and what we might be taking for granted. We absolutely should take more time to be mindful and appreciative of the gifts, comforts and blessings bestowed upon us. Communicate love and gratefulness.

We do plenty of things without giving them a single thought like…….

Hopping into the hot shower. Snuggling under the warm blanket with spouse, kid or pet. Turning on the tap and expectantly hold a glass under it. Waking up feeling fit and energetic. Flicking on the light. Cracking open the fridge. Pursing our lips for the perfunctory kiss at the front door. Saying the rote “I love you.” Opening the wallet. Closing the car door with the habitual thank you response.

Until we no longer have or we are faced with no longer having…..

Hot water. The warm cover over our bodies. The spouse, kid or pet no longer there. The surety that water will flow into the glass. Good health. The person at the front door. Electricity. The loved one on the other end of the telephone line. Money. The beloved parent in the car dropping you off one more time.

I wish all of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving a wonderful visit with family and friends. Enjoy and appreciate this special day. A perfect time to remember that the gifts, comforts and blessings in our lives should be like marble and not taken for granted.

To those who are not celebrating the holiday I wish you the same. A day of giving thanks.

One last thing. I’m very thankful for you all.

Happy Thanksgiving.













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My daughter is in her room listening to music on her record player.

What’s old is new.

One of the records was skipping and she asked me what could cause this.

I can’t help with her Calculus homework. Or her advanced French course.

But Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I was out of my seat quicker than you can blink an eye.

Finally, I might be able to contribute to her education!

Maybe a scratch on the album. Dust on needle. Maybe some warpage. I was spinning, examining records and checking needles.

I said to her, nostalgia dripping in every syllable, “You have no idea how much time I spent listening to records in my bedroom. In my friends’ rooms, parties and everywhere else.”

And then I looked at the spinning disc in total awe.

I asked, “Isn’t it absolutely amazing that so much beautiful music is somehow squeezed into a black piece of vinyl. A needle hits it and this magic happens??”

It’s a freaking miracle. I just never appreciated it when I was young. Like so many other things.

Maybe that’s the miracle. When something old is new. And it makes you finally appreciate it.

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I spoke to my parents this morning. They are in little old Rhode Island and I am here in Malaysia. So many miles between us.

When I hung up the phone I knew how incredibly blessed I was to have those two as my parents.

Don’t want to get sappy. Doesn’t happen often with me but sometimes there’s seepage. A couple of months ago I got choked up while talking to Mom.

I said before I hung up, “Mom, I just want you to know how much I love you.”

She said, “Oh, honey, I love you, too!”

“I know that, Mom, but I really just want you to know that you are the best mom and I want to thank you for that. I really appreciate everything you’ve done and do.”

She said, “I know that. You have shown that, in countless ways, through the years.”

Did it again today. Felt that overwhelming need to tell her how I felt. So I did. But when she heard me getting choked up she got quiet. She said she loved hearing what I was saying but felt badly that I was upset and crying. Being the mom.

I said, “No, don’t feel badly. I am fine. I just want you to know how happy I am to have you guys in my life. In my world. Don’t know what I would do without you.”

Maybe I am just getting old. Maybe it’s the distance. Or maybe I just need to let the people in my life know exactly what they mean to me.

I remembered, long ago, reading a story. Maybe it was a joke about the demonstrative Irish. I tried to find it but couldn’t. Google is not GOD.

So, this is how I recall it.

An Irishman is on his deathbed. We’ll call him Seamus.

His wife (let’s call her Bridget) is sitting by his bedside and says, “Seamus, Seamus, before you leave me, please answer me this. Did you love me?”

And he answered incredulously, “Ach, woman, surely you knew it all along!”

I think it is really important that all the people in your life know how you feel about them. You can’t assume. You have to tell them.

Show the love, yes. Just don’t forget to also tell the love.

Nothing bad gonna come out of that.

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