Friday, October 26, 2012

Thirty Days of Gratitude - Serendipity Moments

On Tuesday I began posting thirty days of gratitude.
For day one I posted: My days begin with looking at a picture of my four grand children on the computer screen. Can't wait to have them all together again. So very grateful for my husband who put it there.
For day two I posted: Today the sun came out and beautiful blue sky shown above. I am so grateful to live in Oregon with all the beautiful scenery, especially from our windows.

My friend posted in response: Yesterday I was driving up Oatfield and I saw a huge rainbow coming out of the roof of your house!!! If I was a good friend I would have pulled over, got out in the pouring rain and took a picture for you!
And I responded to her: That is so cool. The message on my father's grave marker says, "Look for the rainbow." It is kind of our family motto and I am always thrilled to see them. I know he watches over me. Do you know what time of day it was?
Magic moments of serendipity in our lives are amazing. My father was born in 1934 and passed away in 1988 after two very difficult years fighting a brain tumor. When I reached the age of 53, which was his age at the time of passing, I faced a serious brain and ear condition. My gratitude now is for surviving the surgeries and being able to function on a fairly normal level. Doing genealogy research was key to my recovery.
Many times I would think of my father and remember the courage he displayed during this challenging experience. Some of his greatest joys were his grand children, of which he spent time with ten of them. I learned from him the value of spending time with family and sharing in wonderful memories. I remember him going to the pumpkin patch with us the first year and now realize he may not have been feeling very well physically. He made special gifts for the grand children when he probably least felt like making things.

When we work on family history sometimes our memories are clouded by a person's day-by-day demeanor, without realizing the mental, physical, spiritual or other struggles in their lives. We need to look for the good in our ancestors without idealizing them. Indeed, we did not walk in their shoes, so we can never fully appreciate their feelings and concerns, but we can try to see their world through their eyes.
In these thirty days of gratitude I will try to share more of these types of memories of my ancestors. They truly contributed to what I have become and for that I am very grateful. Just like the rainbow shining over our home yesterday, I don't need a picture as I can paint the picture in my memory. Thank you so much to my friend for taking the time to share this with me. We all need to reflect and paint pictures of the memories of our ancestors and then write about them.

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