November 14, 2011 -- "Thankful"

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I attended an event today where the keynote speaker talked about remembering to be thankful. It’s something I forget when I’m overtired, overworked, overstressed and overscheduled, as has often been the case lately. The speaker talked about being thankful to be seen as a “go-to” person, thankful to have family and friends that rely on her and thankful for a job that keeps her busy. What perspective. What I sometimes slip into thinking are my challenges, really are blessings and I am thankful today for that reminder.

I’ve been putting off writing more of these blog posts, because they do sometimes hurt. It’s been just over ten years since we lost Melissa to her battle with kidney disease as she waited for a transplant that never came. And while we miss her all the time, this time of year brings its own kind of bittersweet memories, that are always laced with a bit of sadness.

I’ve set a goal and, more importantly, a plan to write more regularly to keep her memory alive and to ensure we meet our goal of fully funding our scholarship in her memory. As you take a moment to count the things you’re thankful for this week, perhaps you can take a moment to visit our donation page and make a small contribution in her memory.

As a reminder to all of us to be thankful this week, I thought I would share an excerpt from her journal from November 2001, when she was 24 and in graduate school. This was just what I needed to read this week, and perhaps it may speak to you as well.

I am sitting in complete silence right now. With just the trickling of my little fountain in the background. My faith and healing candles are lit. I feel the need to regain balance and composure in my life. When I started this the last time, things began to turn around for me. I need that again.

Things are starting to go out of balance. I am always in a hurry - going somewhere, doing something. My dialysis treatments are getting bad again. I am experiencing feelings of anger, sadness and fatigue.

I need to stop. To be one with myself and talk to God in peace. I asked Him for my usual request - a kidney. My day must be coming soon.

But, because it is nearing Thanksgiving, I must focus on what I am grateful for. There are so many things. My family, my current health, my home, being able to go to school, my car, and my friends to name just a few. When I take the time to sit and reflect, I realize how lucky I really am.

I’m already feeling more at peace and ready to tackle my challenges ahead.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us so far. In case you missed it, we were able to give our first Melissa Daniels Scholarship award this past Spring. To “meet” our first recipient, take a look at this post.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Becky Daniels