Growing in Gratitude

Growing in Gratitude

Sometimes life can be a process of growing in gratitude. We all have obstacles to overcome, challenges to meet, and growth to achieve. Let’s just say that life is wonderful now. It was not wonderful in the past.

I grew up in an alcoholic abusive environment.  My father came home staggering drunk five nights out of every week. He was also a compulsive gambler. He abandoned us to the taverns and to his card games. It was difficult to face his drinking night after night. Would it never stop? Where was hope in our family life? Would he ever come to his senses?

These were questions that plagued me day after day.

He drank compulsively up to the age of seventy two.

We had difficulty getting him to a doctor. I think he feared that he would be told to stop drinking. At the age of seventy two he became ill with a rare blood disorder called myelofibrosis. Once a man of high vitality, he began to sink into the abyss of fatigue, disorientation, and ill health. He also developed cirrhosis of the liver. If one disease wasn’t going to kill him, the other would.

Finally, at the age of seventy two, we got him to a doctor. Doctor B. told him that he would have to stop drinking or he would quickly die. This is where growing in gratitude comes in.

I have the privilege of doing therapeutic music in a local nursing home. About three months ago, I walked in and saw Dr. B sitting in the living room area. I hadn’t seen him in forty four years. Shortly after my father started seeing him, I became his patient also.

Today, I had the honor of giving him a card with a thank you note on it along with a small potted plant. Most of his family was present. I thanked him for giving my family four years to develop a richer relationship with my father. I was growing in gratitude.

The question is: How can you grow in gratitude? Is there someone in your life you want to thank? Take some time to write that card, to say thank you. and to grow in gratitude.


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