~thankful thursday~ the helpers


~30 days of gratitude~ day 11

Today I am grateful for weekly date nights, for blackberries pulled out of the freezer and turned into syrup for date night cocktails, and of course for my handsome date. The photos are from other dates, we did not go to the golden gate bridge this evening, just to the Noodle Café, for which I am also grateful. But I do get to go to some very cool places with him when I am riding in the passenger seat, even when it’s not vacation.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 12

I was having another one of those “grateful for husband/kitties/popcorn, again?” moments, wondering whether it was worth repeating all the same things over again that I am always grateful for. Then I looked back at my memories, as I’ve got a good pile of previous year gratitude posts to fall back on if I am already going to be repeating myself. I saw that one year ago today, my dad was spending the night in the hospital after a scary heart rate drop. A year later, he has a pacemaker and has re-emerged from retirement yet again and is back driving bus, but now with the proper number of beats per minute. My post from two years ago concerned butterflies and migrations and extra trips I had flown in 2019 to visit my parents, including the very last one I took there in October that year while my mom was having radiation. I am so grateful to be able to say that she is cancer-free and he is marching steadily to his new beat and in four more days they will both be boosted. My gratitude for my parents’ health is of course both amplified and shadowed by my husband’s loss of two parents in one year. But I’ve noticed that at least for me, this gratitude season always seems to involve looking into shadows, trusting that stories about shadows are so often secretly stories about light.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 13

Grateful for a blue-sky farmer’s market day, a long evening nap on the couch by the wood stove, and bagels, the college roommate of nachos. (I took no good photos of my rainbow display today, so this one is from a few weeks ago; now there are more root veggies and fewer eggplants, but still colorful and abundant.)



~30 days of gratitude~ day 14

While not vacationing in Oklahoma, I was grateful repeatedly for strangers who helped us take care of things. There was C, who reassured us that we were moving Nancy into assisted living at the exact right moment and not a moment too soon, and then texted me after her first night to let us know Nancy had enjoyed hot cocoa after dinner! There was E, who sat patiently with us in the bank, untying confusing paperwork knots and offering real sympathy, sharing her own story of loss even though we were randoms revolving through her office. There was J who sat with us in the funeral home, explaining the steps to this Advanced Adulting task over again when I got lost. She radiated sweetness, kindness.

And finally, I will be grateful forever for D, the nurse on 3 West at St. Francis hospital who could tell, without being able to talk to her, that Nancy needed her room a little bit warmer to be comfortable. D, who received word of decisions made in accordance with Nancy’s wishes to remove feeding tube, then a day later to remove oxygen cannula, and whose hands carried out those important jobs. D, who applied chapstick, and told us about Nancy puckering, appreciating the attention to her dry lips despite having maxed out the morphine drip. Into the isolation room she would hustle when the morphine drip beeped its “downstream occlusion” alarm, proclaiming, “it’s the song of my people!” And would joke along with us about how Nancy was just trying to get us to change the subject. D showed us her trick of being able to write both backwards and forwards with both her left and right hand. Instead of logging into the isolation room computers, she would write backwards on the glass doors, to be able to input her notes when she exited a room. D has been on the COVID ward since the pandemic began, so she has had time to perfect this skill. Concurrently with Nancy, she had two pregnant patients and was worried for them. She also had a belligerent patient who kept ripping off his cannula, who then signed himself out AMA. It’s no joke in there. When a patient from the psych ward was also COVID positive and on suicide watch, she would play tic-tac-toe with them using the dry erase markers, sitting on the other side of the window. She thought Nancy was “just a doll,” and shared about her work at the facility her Grandma had lived in. She understood dementia but it didn’t seem to get her down. She would ask her Grandma and her other residents, when they told her each incongruous story, “how old are you?” And when they said 39, or 56, it often made the story make marginally more sense. After two different days of D having a feeling “this might be her day,” based on Nancy’s vitals, she finally told us, “I’ll see y’all on Saturday,” the day before Nancy died. We did not see D on Saturday, but I’m so grateful for the days she took care of Nancy and of us.


(originally posted two years ago)


~30 days of gratitude~ day 15

Still grateful about this.

Happy Monday, friends.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 16

I am grateful for books! There are some gems in this rainbow of recent reads.


(from gratitude 2019)


~30 days of gratitude~ day 17

Today I am grateful for the Ghost of Gratitude Past.

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