I have had THANK YOU on my mind the last few weeks.
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
This line was in our holiday card several years ago and I think of it every single day.
I feel overcome with gratitude lately, for the road that led me here and for all the complex realities of life right now. Maybe that’s what midlife is: a sturdy awareness of our gifts even in the midst of days that are dark or challenging. I’m thankful for so much. For the snow. For my young adult children, who make me laugh and make me proud and make me excited to see what’s coming next. For my husband, who has been by my side for so many years. For our dog, whose presence has been an unmitigated joy even though she barks too much. For walks with friends. For my wonderful, incredible colleagues that it’s a privilege to work with every day. For my dearly beloved closest friends, the true native speakers who know who they are. For the many, many years of family dinners, and the routine and familiarity of sitting down together most nights. For pink and red M&M chocolate chip cookies. For our Peleton. For my sister and mother, whose steadfast presence in my life means the world. For my father, who I miss daily. For the lengthening days. For the heartache and challenge that helped me appreciate all that is beautiful here.
My maternal grandmother was my first grandparent to die, in 1997. She was the only grandparent not at our wedding, and I wore her wedding ring. Her husband, my grandfather, was with her when she died and his last words to her were “thank you.”
I cannot think of a better thing to hear at the end of one’s life.