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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

     A young newlywed college student overheard a conversation between two classmates - one a woman in her 50's, the other a man in his early 20's.  The woman asked the man how his Thanksgiving was.  He responded that he spent Thanksgiving afternoon and evening at his church leader's home but the bulk of the holiday he spent alone.  The woman commented along the lines that at least Christmas was coming and the man could look forward to seeing his own family then.  The man replied that money was tight and that he would not be going home for Christmas this year.  The newlywed told his wife what he had overheard.  The two of them decided to fly the man home for Christmas.  They did some sleuthing and were able to call the man's parents and make necessary arrangements.  Of necessity, for sleuthing and anonymity purposes, a few other people had to be let in on the plan.  These people wanted to contribute to getting this man home.  The couple welcomed the help - but were willing to use only their limited funds if needed.  

attitude of gratitude

From my brother's Facebook page:

     "Oh Hollywood, Hollywood, you can be so entertaining but so off the mark. I have seen so many people in movies tumble down a hill, get up, dust off and carry on. 
     "Friday the 13, the first full day of vacation in Utah, I tumbled 30+ feet down a mountain trail and for all intents and purposes I still have not gotten up. I scraped up my arms, tore skin from my legs, bruised a hip, sprained a wrist, bruised half a dozen ribs and broke my left humerous just below the head.
     "For the next four days I was stiff and sore everywhere. When I moved everything hurt. Today I can start to separate individual areas of injury. I also started to taper off the narcotics. The next adventure is flying home tomorrow and learning to dress myself. 
     "I am blessed to have been injured in Utah, where I was with my awesome dad, visiting sister and little brother and his family."

My brother posted this a few weeks ago. I am posting it today in joining those giving gratitude this month. Because it is the 3rd day of the month I will give three gratitudes 1) family,  2) multiple means of communicating/staying in touch, 3) the example of my brother who, immediately after he stopped tumbling down the mountain expressed thankfulness that his right arm did not get hurt and the remainder of our time together continuely found things to be grateful for - as evidenced in his post.

     Just returned from a 10 day visit with family in UT.  While away I received an email from my husband signed, "Love, still".  When we were dating, before we were engaged, he would end  letters with, "love, dt" and then below, in tiny letters, he would add, ''please".  I thought "still" was a cute replacement.  After, ''Love, still" closing his next email I ended my reply with, "Love, still too"
     Turns out auto-correct prefers "still" to "dt" to which dt was unaware until my "too".  Fortunately, after 30+ years  we really are "still" and "still too".

purple memories
     Thursday afternoon, watching High School soccer.  Neighbor's mom sits down near by - an attractive, well-groomed, older woman wearing light purple.  I ask the woman next to me, whose mother died within a year of my own, "Do you think of your mom very often?"  She replies, "I think of her very often."  I motion to the older woman and ask, "How about when you see other mothers?"  She answers, "My mom's favorite color was purple, I was thinking about her even before you asked."  We bask momentarily in silent, happy memories of our mothers.  Shortly thereafter we are joined by a third woman whose mother is ailing.  Unaware of our earlier conversation she asks when we knew it was time for our moms to be on hospice.  The first woman and I are sharing positive thoughts regarding hospice when the third woman is joined by her husband.  As she turns to greet him I lean to the first woman and quietly say, "A lot more memories are flooding in."  She nods and whispers, "I prefer the purple ones."  We both laugh in agreement and then sit with tears in our eyes as we think of our mothers' last days.  Hearing the laughter the third woman wants to know what she had missed.  My explanation starts by motioning toward the attractive woman in purple. 

     September 21 a friend's mother was diagnosed with cancer.  She was told she did not have long to live.  She passed away today.  My heart is with the family.

Out back
Spouse and I on patio chairs
Two sons on the roof
Temperature dropping
Light dimming
Shadow bands slithering on the house
Totality comes
Cheers throughout town
Tears in my eyes
Gratitude in my heart

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