It’s Thanksgiving Day and I can remember the anticipation of my family getting together for the holidays! It seems like so long go… when I was a child with five other siblings, my Mom would rush home from work and we would go to the grocery store on the money my parents earned that week. She would buy all this wonderful food that we didn’t ordinarily have in the house for a very special dinner.

Cooking a big dinner was a lot of work and yet it was a simpler time. We were all happy in  anticipation of the meal. Plus, for us kids it meant Christmas would be here soon. Our home was always noisy with lots of running around, a few fights between us kids and always a sentimental word at the table.  As we grew older our family expanded and we continued to get together for holidays.

But now we are literally spread around the world. With my youngest son in Japan, my oldest son and his fiance in Los Angles,  and my siblings and their families living in various places across the country.

Even though so much has changed, including the loss of my Dad in August there is much to be grateful for. I have learned particularly in the past few years that being joyful– is based on focusing on what I have and what is going well versus the opposite.

I was always adamant with my kids as they were growing up saying “We don’t get to choose what comes at us, but we do get to control how we respond in any situation”. For me, I have been tested many times throughout my life and I haven’t always done well. My ah ha moment came when I was 24 years old when my first son passed away. I was devastated! I remember Father Dunn at the burial service telling me that I was at choice in how this would affect my life. Those words empowered me, they continue to empower me.

By combining these two life lessons, I have found joy!

  • Focusing on what is good in life, appreciation for what I have
  • Empowering myself in how I respond to life’s events

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am grateful for family, friends, life’s opportunities and health!

Night Wendy


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