Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gratitude Journal - Nov 1

I decided to try to post each day this month.  I am hoping I can find at least one thing I am grateful for every day.  It shouldn't be hard - except maybe just getting my thoughts posted!  So.........

Tuesday, November 1 - My lifelong best friend Paula called yesterday morning to tell me that she had just learned that another of our friends had passed away on Sunday night.  Jan was one of our classmates.  Going to a small school, we were all close friends.  Jan had married another classmate the summer after graduation.  They had up and down years.  For the most part, they had a great deal of material wealth, but they struggled in other ways.  The last several years had been very difficult, though, as they declared bankruptcy and were divorced.  Jan had several health problems, including hips that had deteriorated to the point of her living in constant pain.  She also fought an alcohol addiction.  Local friends, including Paula, had been trying to reach out to her and give her what support they could.  In fact, a group of them was getting together yesterday and she had called Jan the night before, hoping to get her to come with them at the last minute.  The phone went to voice mail and she just left a message saying to call.  Another friend Peggy called Jan's brother to see if he knew anything about her and left a message on his voicemail.  He immediately returned the call to say that she had passed away, probably Sunday evening.  There was no clear word yet on exactly what the cause of death was, but it appeared to be natural causes.  Also, no plans on a service were yet available.

All of this was on my mind most of the day.  I am so saddened by Jan's passing, knowing how hard things had been for her.  She was a lovely, fun person and she will be missed by those of us who knew her.  At the same time, I have felt gratitude for having grown up in a place and time when we had such wonderful and enduring friendships.  I have felt gratitude that these have become lifelong friendships that I treasure.  I have also felt gratitude for life itself and have been reminded to enjoy each day as it comes.  Life is precious and can be over so quickly.

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