CLEVELAND, Ohio – On my Facebook page, I asked readers why they are grateful. More than 100 responses were received. This could have been a book.
I started with this example: “I am grateful to my wife Roberta. We’ve been married for 44 years, 34 books and thousands of stories. She edited all the books, most of the stories. She moved from Cleveland to Greensboro to Savannah (twice) to Baltimore and Cleveland early in our marriage. This is the same woman who lived in just one house until she graduated from college.
GRATEFUL THROUGH PAIN
From Ed Lamacher:
“I am grateful to be able to spend every day with my best friend/wife Kim. If you think something is a routine MRI and you get a call, we need to do a second MRI on your spine, something… It’s like getting a blind hit in football… Kim is a Phoenix.
“She survived a rare tumor in her spine — so rare that most doctors don’t think you’re serious until they see the surgery notes. She has to deal with pain every day, but she works every day to get up. She has helped me see the world differently and get out of what is comfortable.”
From Jon Marks:
“I am grateful to have beaten stage 4 CLL leukemia. It brought new friends into my life and reacquainted me with people who had drifted away. I’m thankful it reminded me how precious life is. I will try to learn what else it has taught me about decency, love and respect for the little things in life – and the great love that poured over me during the fifteen months I was undergoing the treatment.”
From Cheryl Josson:
“I am grateful to the Cleveland Clinic cardiology team that my husband had two heart procedures in July and September. And also grateful that we both survived a difficult period with COVID earlier this year.”
From Lois Van Gunten
“I am thankful to God. (My family) had alcohol and drug problems. I don’t drink and I don’t do drugs. Besides, I’m the only one who stayed married to the same person. I am thankful for my husband. We have been married for 44 years. God had His Hand on me and protected me from alcohol and drugs.”
From Pete Walker
“I am grateful that God saw fit to help me recover from an opiate/herion addiction. I now work to help others in substance (abuse) and in the courts and tribunals.”
GRATEFUL THROUGH TASTING
From Barbara Diver:
“I am grateful for my husband of 41 years. Through my cancer journey, our son’s addiction and eventual death and now another health problem for myself, he has been by my side. This has made us a stronger couple and I look forward to many more years with him.”
From Robert George
“This week is my 22nd wedding anniversary. My wife was with me when I had a stroke and they flew me to Colorado Springs. I am so thankful to be alive!”
From Dan Weaver:
“In August I had a stroke. It had me down for a while to say the least. I am grateful that I am still alive and not paralyzed.”
From David Phillips:
“I am grateful to my wife of 33 years. Our faith in the Lord got me through two open heart surgeries and a stroke.”
GRATEFUL EVEN DURING DEATH
From Frank Krempasky:
“When my father passed away in late 2016, I was grateful to be able to spend all 36 days of his brief illness with him. We talked, we laughed, we cried. But more importantly, we loved and left nothing on the table. He passed away on Tuesday. We watched our last Browns game that Sunday. I had the Cavs game in his room the night he came over and he was watching it with me from heaven.”
From Phil Bowman:
“I am grateful that I survived the unexpected death of my son in 2017. He was a few months away from graduating from Clemson. He suffered from an aneurysm caused by a bacterial infection. He survived seven days and seemed fine, or so I thought.
“I got to see him one last time. He seemed fine, but couldn’t overcome it. Thank God we were able to keep his memory alive through a golf tournament that raised enough money to award 11 $5,000 scholarships know.”
From Ann Broderick Malthaner:
“My father, Tom Broderick, passed away last month and I’m glad he’s not still in pain. I am grateful for our large Irish family who joined forces to carry the burden.”
From Frieda Feher:
“I am grateful to have had my husband for 38 years before he died…we were so happy. Grateful to have his 93-year-old mother in my life.”
THANKFUL FOR OTHERS
From Sue Whitman:
“I am grateful for the teaching colleagues who support each other in the midst of one of the most difficult school years I can remember. People who love children and throw themselves into these children to have them all year round.”
From Terry Holley:
I am 69 years old and grateful for all my Sunday School teachers and youth workers who have helped me grow in my faith, ultimately leading me to become a pastor.”
From Judith Muzzy:
“I am grateful to those who passed Title IX in the 1970s, making possible all the wonderful stories of girls and their athletic successes. I graduated from high school in 1965. There were no interscholastic sports for girls or women at that time.”
GRATEFUL FOR CHILDREN
From Judy Hummel Miller:
“I am grateful to my husband! I had difficult pregnancies. My husband did all the housework, meals, outdoor work while he worked full time and went to college in the evenings! Thanks to him we have two children and four grandchildren!”
From Karen Weisheit:
“I am grateful to be able to start a family with my husband. We struggled for 3.5 years to get pregnant with our first. Now, in the past five years, we’ve had three beautiful, crazy kids. God has fulfilled the desires of the heart in such a beautiful way. Some days I cannot believe that I may exalt these great blessings. It feels so surreal after the wait we had to endure.”
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