Well, as we’re contemplating perhaps winding this isolation down (I have to admit that I’m just a touch hesitant about this), I’m thinking of the beginning of golf season and getting back outside in the – at long last – warmer weather. It reminds me of when Josh and I were learning to golf, back in the mid-nineties. We just whacked at the ball, trying to coax it forward, mere feet at a time. We had fun, laughed at each other a lot and cheered each other on when one of us had a good shot. In retrospect, it was wonderful just to have him outside being active and having fun.

Sometimes do you have to think hard just to find something to be grateful for? As I look back, how wonderful it was to have Josh feeling well, joking and finding the humor in life. His dad Jan and I took Josh to a local restaurant to enjoy someone else’s cooking (as that has always been a challenge for me). When we were done with our meal, Jan pulled out money from his wallet. Teasing, he told Josh, “If you can tell me which president is on a fifty-dollar bill, you can have it.” Josh promptly responded, “Grant”. At first, for a moment we were silently in awe, then we just roared because he was right! The money was his! I still wonder at how he knew that bit of trivia. Silly thing to be grateful for, huh? Nah, not at all. It truly is the little things that count and are supremely important.

This is a picture of Josh with his friend and classmate, Joey. They’re the same age, but such a great difference in size, but his friends didn’t see or care about that. I am so thankful that he had such wonderful group of friends and that he could fish, hunt, bowl and enjoy so many other fun activities with them. I would drop him off at a park in town so he could play touch football with friends and not have mom “hovering”. Not that I wasn’t tempted, but he needed time alone with the guys to be independent. I’m not sure how the football went. He probably wasn’t able to run as they did, but the important thing was that he was there with his buddies, involved, included, laughing and talking. God Bless all his loyal ‘buds’.

Does it sound silly for me to be grateful for a little gain, a little growth at a checkup? Yep, I certainly was! This was hard-earned, and Josh was proud when he could show that he had gained some additional weight. He fought for every ounce. Many parents just don’t know how fortunate they are to have trivial, non-life-threatening things to be concerned about. Ahh, to be so care-free!

At the age of four, Josh began competing in Karate tournaments. Oh, his mom was so proud, her heart was about to burst. Here was something he could handle and something he could take pride in doing. And he expressed concern that he didn’t want to win all the trophies, he wanted other kids to win too.

Now, maybe to sound a little bit (or perhaps a lot) weird, I am grateful that he’s not in this strange new, frightening world. His mother would be crazy with worry. He would be on many medications,  immunosuppressed, living with many underlying health issues and his very life would be at an unbelievably enormous risk. However, he is now ensconced in a safe, healthy place, watching over us all, in awe at how the Earth, its people and their lives are drastically changing, probably forever, in a distressing and unpredictable manner. He heaves a huge sigh, wondering where all this is going.

Yes, gratitude is a wonderful, warm, calming and comforting thing. God Bless y’all, we’ll make it through this together, supporting and encouraging each other. Be aware of all the little things you should be grateful for and give thanks. Love and Hugs to you all!

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