Just last week I celebrated my 54th birthday – so I thought I would make this post to say B is for Birthdays – and Beautiful Memories!
My Dad and I shared March birthdays – his on the 15th and mine on the 29th – we often had family gatherings to celebrate our birthdays together at some point during the month. When my middle daughter came along on April 3rd, 1987, we began including her in the group celebrations for spring birthdays.
I tend to be a very emotional and sentimental person, so certain events, words, and memories can really get to me and reduce me to tears. This typically happens every March since my Dad has been gone (and Father’s Day, holidays, etc.), because so many beautiful memories are tied to those dates and I miss him so much.
I received a belated birthday card from my youngest daughter and son-in-law today – and in it, she included a beautiful montage of photos that, naturally, evoked tears.
This montage represents a collection of beautiful memories! It includes one of our favorite last photos of my parents together before Dad passed away. Now that Mom is gone, too, the caption under their photo reads “Finally Together Forever.” Since my parents were veterans, they were laid to rest and have headstones in a Veterans Cemetery. Up until seeing this picture TODAY, I had not seen my Mom’s headstone, since it took awhile to get it placed there and I live out of state.
The poem at the top of the photo (not seen in this photo – posted below *) was from Mom’s memorial service program – and the beautiful sunset is a photo taken at the beach, the night of Mom’s memorial service, as the family gathered there – as we all did for years as a family, having picnics and watching the sunset. These beautiful memories sustain me through the difficult days and encourage me to create more beautiful memories in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.
[*Poem at the top of the photo collage]:
“God looked around His garden and He found an empty place.
And then He looked down upon the earth, and saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you and lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering, He knew you were in pain,
He knew that you would never get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough, and a cure was out of sight,
So He closed your weary eyelids and whispered, ‘No more putting up a fight.’
It broke our heart to lose you. But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.”
A is also for April, this new month in a new season – we in Maine are anxiously awaiting spring’s true arrival, too! We had unseasonably warm temperatures to welcome in spring – nearly summer-like weather – only to return to chilly weather and even SNOW!
A is also for apology, as in I apologize for neglecting this blog for so long. I really want to honor my Dad with this blog, so I joined the A to Z Blog Challenge as a way to help me “jump start” consistent posting again.
SO … for the purpose of THIS particular first post in the challenge, A is for Attitude of Gratitude. This is a quality my Dad faithfully exhibited, even at the end of his days on earth. He was still thankful for all his blessings and for his family. Even during his last conscious hours, he encouraged US, his family members, to display this attitude of gratitude and not blame God for taking Dad away from us.
To say it has been difficult to consistently do so, in the 9 1/2 years Dad has been gone, would be a major understatement. However, beginning last November – motivated by my youngest daughter, who was posting her “things she was thankful for” on Facebook leading up to Thanksgiving – I started doing the same. Every day since then, I have posted my daily “Attitude of Gratitude” posts on Facebook.
That’s five months of daily expressing thanks for people, material blessings, situations … often combined with daily devotional thoughts I’ve gleaned from various sources. Interesting thing is, MY attitude has changed. I’m more positive overall. Another interesting thing has happened – other people have also started posting about things they are thankful for, or commenting on my posts, thanking me for posting and saying it’s a blessing to them.
Imagine that … by simply exercising an attitude of gratitude, as my Dad requested nearly up to his last breath, my life has changed and I’m beginning to fulfill at least part of his legacy, to encourage others.
What about you? Do you need an attitude adjustment? What do you have to be thankful for today? Consider this sobering thought:
“What if you woke up this morning and found the only things you had left …
were the things you thanked God for yesterday?”
[Source: Shared by PIQ (Positive Inspirational Quotes) with public on Facebook].