Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GRATITUDE - December 27, 2011


Although I have trifocals addressing 20/1250 vision  [legal blindness is defined as visual acuity of 20/200]  and I have been diagnosed with and take daily treatments for Glaucoma  [Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States], I still have the benefits of sight.  Agreed, my sense of sight is not the best, but good enough to appreciate the abundance of beauty that surrounds me daily.

I have been blessed to have seen the Parthenon, the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge, the Sphinx, Saint Sophia, Mona Lisa, the Statue of David by Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Half Dome, the Matterhorn, the Twin Towers, the Acropolis, the Blue Mosque, the Roman Coliseum, the ruins of Pompeii, King Tut's Tomb, Topkapi Palace, the British Museum, the Cairo Museum, the Palace of Fine Arts, the impossible, raging river twisting of the Class 4 rapids whitewater rafting, the power of a tornado a block away, the teeming market place in Guadalajara, Istanbul, Piccadilly Circus, as well as single bagpiper standing on cliff's edge at sunset in Ireland, with endless shades of green stretching across the hills, sunsets and sunrises through the mist in the jungles of Jamaica, over the beaches in Hawaii, over glaciers in Alaska, over the ocean in the Aegean Islands, over the Swiss Alps, over the Grand Canyon, from a rising hot air balloon over the Napa Valley,  dawn breaking over Hwy 1 along the coast of Carmel, on a motorcycle and much more. 

That said the best use of my gift of vision lies with my family.  I was there at the birth of all my four children and the first to hold them in my arms.  I have been able to hold and admire my two grandsons.  I am very fortunate to watch my son Ian become a wonderful father in his own right, and my son Nick to excel in sports and grow to be a handsome young man, my son Dustin walk across the stage in cap and gown and receive his college degree, and my daughter Sarah create beautiful music with her cello, as a soloist, and as part of a duo, trio and in an orchestra.  I saw Lise’s beautiful eyes shining, as we exchanged vows once again on our 15th wedding anniversary in front of fifty friends.  I saw my talented mother, Grace, play out a wonderfully full life as God’s gift to the teaching profession and my sister, Sharon’s  face, as she proudly watched me lift off in a magical sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Napa Valley - a gift from her to mark my successful  bout with Cancer treatment.

Those film clips are locked forever in my mind.  I can clearly see them now, as I write this.  The senses we often take for granted have a value beyond compare and are mostly unappreciated until taken from us.  As diminished as my gift of sight may seem to the casual observer, I am grateful that I have had the magnificent opportunity to make use of mine many times over.


"Gratitude is valued because it is a reminder of what is important in our lives.  It is hard to complain about the little things when your family is alive and healthy or to give in to stress over house payments vs. being grateful you have a roof over your head."

VIDEO:  Gratitude

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