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living in gratitude©

living in gratitude©

You know you’re blessed with great friends when you call for help and the reply is instant.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when your long-distance call (from an ocean ferry no less) is answered with a plane ticket.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when they open their homes in the coldest season, offering healthy meals, fine Canadian wine, and the warmth of long conversations.

That warmth spreads to the soul and lingers.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when, huddled under hand-stitched quilts, you talk for hours in the night. And then the conversation continues for days …

You know you’re blessed with great friends when they ease a difficult task with their compassion and support, with hugs and tears and more hugs.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when — even in the midst of their own deep sadness — they still have space to share.

That space in their hearts is so big, you feel your own heart expand in gratitude.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when their children bounce by, after homework, to explain the books they’re reading and the video games they’re playing, to show the costume they’re designing, and more. Always, thankfully, more.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when they rearrange their lives to make room for an unexpected guest, find extra keys, find time to drive long distances out of their way — and still find time for pampering.

Is there a better way of sharing food than dipping strawberries and pineapple in melted chocolate in mid-winter?

Great friends are like magnets, drawing more lively people into their orbits, and sharing their blessings with all. Pizza and beer, family-style at the dining room table, becomes a precious memory of laughter and stories shared.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when teens and pre-teens drift by for a  slice, then settle for longer conversation at a long table filled with strangers. There are no barriers here, just an openness to exploring together.

We’re all blessed when generations meet and learn.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when they barbecue amid snow and ice, welcoming a vegetarian with great home cooking and a neighbor’s homemade lemon meringue pie.

You know you’re blessed with great friends when they bundle up for a wintry walk with the family pet, a gentle, cinnamon-colored companion. For the pet-less, sharing space with friends’ dogs is a blessing too.

With the crisis eased, a long-time friend insists on an only-in-Canada farewell gift: A warm winter coat. The down-filled jacket is so light, it fits into a little bag that fits neatly into a carry-on.

I am humbled by such generosity.

I’m filled with gratitude on the flight home, thinking of my friends with love, and knowing that I am truly blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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