It grieves me to know I will not compete in another Western States100 race in this lifetime but I feel intense gratitude for having found many answers under the stones on that trail. When I look in the mirror, it grieves me to have spent all that time in the sun. Now I am grateful the sun comes up each day for me. It grieves me to realize that my beautiful smoothly shaved legs are fast becoming a thing of the past but I am so grateful they still get me to the bathroom in time. I am often upset by losing my keys but I am grateful for St. Anthony's help in finding them. Grief and gratitude make for an interesting soup, sometimes tasty and nutritious. Other times, I have to choke it down.
|St. Therese Statue from Chris Hart Studio|
I was too young to remember when our house burned to the ground. My family only had what was on their backs that day. My mother said over and over "Thank God, it was something, not someone". Her greatest regret was that she had lost all of the family photographs. No mention of her fur coat, her jewelry, her favorite mixing bowl and recipe book or the handmade silver service my father brought from Germany years ago for their engagement party. What was it like to have all your stuff taken away in an afternoon house fire? " I'm just glad no one was hurt." she would say with grace.
For me it is harder to have something taken away than it is to wish for something I may never get. Getting the Golden Artist Set for Christmas was not as much fun as wishing I was Leonardo da Vinci. Hoping for a horse to win an Olympic gold medal when I was 6 was more fun than cleaning stalls. Losing a relationship is harder than dreaming of a relationship with someone. Fantasy is fun because you get to play in the fog of illusion without the drudgery of real life. The rewarding work begins when we learn to be grateful for what we actually have. St. Therese said on her deathbed "I love only simplicity. I have a horror of pretense".
|St. Therese Holy Card|
St. Therese is the one I pray to when I have to do things I don't want to bother with because I'm tired or too busy. She helps me do the cooking and cleaning when I would rather not. She shows me the value in doing small tasks for those I love without keeping score. She makes me slow down and appreciate the littlest flower in my garden that blooms without much light or care all summer long. St. Therese helps me seek grace in my pain and compassion for those I want to blame for it. She helps me open my heart when it's closed tight and she encourages me to forgive those around me for my own short comings. She puts my focus on the tiny things I can do and to not be overwhelmed by the big things that seem impossible as I grow older. Grief and gratitude, opposite sides of the same coin. I pray to St. Therese to help me choose the side of grace.