Taking “J” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Just because Thanksgiving is over and November gone, there is no reason to stop being grateful, so I am going to continue with my alphabet of gratitude. Since today is the tenth such post of this surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “J” things. Well, one “J” thing.

I am especially grateful for:

100_1807aJeff. Although I never took Jeff — my life mate/soul mate — for granted, somehow I always took for granted that we’d be together. Even while he was dying, I took for granted that such was the way things always would be — he dying, me struggling to live. And even at the end, I took for granted that somehow he’d still be in my life, as if he would be in another room, perhaps. After he took his last breath, I was stunned by the absolute feeling of “goneness” I felt. It wasn’t as if he were in another room. It was as if an immense crater had been dug out of my life, my heart, my soul, leaving behind . . . nothing.

Even though I don’t feel him in my life any more, even though I can barely remember what our shared life was like, I always take him for gratitude. I am grateful I knew him, grateful (and honored) that he shared his life and death with me, grateful I once was so connected to another human being that his death left a hole in my life that will never be filled. I am grateful for every shared smile, every hug, every act of caring. I am grateful I found someone who understood me and knew what I meant when I spoke.

I am grateful for our electric conversations that lasted hours, days, a lifetime. We didn’t try to convince the other of our position — we each brought truth and thought to the conversation, and together we created a greater reality. There was no reason to argue — it was never about his opinion versus mine. It was about the truth — the truth as far as we could reconstruct it together. And oh, I am so grateful for that truth!

I am grateful for the time he spent with me. I am grateful for the movies we watched together, the books we shared, the ideas we developed, the businesses we created. I am grateful he stayed with me as long as possible, long enough to say everything that needed to be said.

I am grateful he set me free. I might have had to spend the rest of my years caring for a helpless invalid, but he left my life as quickly and as gracefully as he entered — between one heartbeat and the next.

I am even grateful he set me on my current path. He once told me it bothered him that because of his illness and our constrained lives, I’d lost the spontaneity I once had (ironically, that spontaneity had come from the security his presence engendered in me). I am now trying to get back that spontaneity, and will spend the rest of my life as untethered as possible.

I am grateful I once was loved. I am grateful I loved.

I am grateful that Jeff was such a major part of my life.

So, what “J” things are you taking for gratitude today?

***
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

3 Comments

Filed under life, Pat Bertram

3 responses to “Taking “J” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

  1. I am grateful for many things – each new day I see, every winter sunrise, the first soft blessing of snow, the white frost, the red leaves, the coming of spring. Troulbe is, I can’t think of a way to make any of them begin with a ‘J’, Pat. Sorry!

  2. That was beautiful, Pat. I’m happy you had what you had. I’m glad you were loved and loved. As both my husband and I age, I realize that one of us will face the same future. It terrifies me because I can’t imagine life without Bob. I don’t want to imagine it. I don’t want it to happen. When it does, however, I hope whoever survives can be as brave as you have had to be. I too am so thankful to have loved as completely as I have. I am also so thankful to have been loved by a beautiful human being like Bob.

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