What are you grateful for today?

I just got back from walking the dog this morning. It is a sunny and blue sky morning – a classically beautiful Colorado day.
Backpacking in the Lost Creek Wilderness
I crossed paths with a man who lives in the neighborhood, and I see regularly but have never spoken with. He stands a good six inches above my 5’10”, but moves slowly. He gently stops me on the sidewalk and says to me, “May I ask you a question?” I respond “Sure.” After all, the dog is in no rush. She tends to really mosey in the morning, thoroughly sniffing every third blade of grass. So, he asks with sincerity “What are you grateful for today?” I respond with “beautiful sunny day,” “good food” (I enjoy making our oatmeal breakfast). Then he immediately follows up by asking, “Would you like to know what I’m grateful for today?”
“Of course.”
“Today is my 25th anniversary of surviving incurable brain cancer.”

I am filled with joy today, for and because of this person. I don’t know their name, but I know a little more about them. As I work through the challenges of achieving a PhD (data messes, analytical challenges, pushed to limits in committee meetings, wondering what the heck am I doing?) it is a beautiful reminder that there is much that deserves my gratitude. Now I have another thing to be grateful for today: this person asking me this simple question and sharing a little bit of their self with me.

So, what are you grateful for today ?


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