Saturday, October 12, 2019

So Much Gratitude

People are good.

I know. Some aren't. Of course. But in the past two weeks, I've encountered a lot of good people. Kathy's family has encountered a lot of good people.

Kathy's funeral service was astounding. Her church, her friends, her family turned out for standing room only in a very large church. The receiving line for the visitation lasted three hours. The eulogies were given by her pastors and one pastor's wife. The choir, which must have had 70 people in it, sang some of her favorite songs. There was laughter. There were tears. She will be missed. So very much.

Because Kathy's youngest daughter had a third of her head shaved (a consequence of surgery to relieve pressure on her brain the day after the accident), her older sister asked everyone to wear hats to the funeral. In memory of Kathy, in honor of my uncle, and for one day only, this Duke University graduate wore one of George's caps.

I am grateful that Kathy's daughter is recovering so well from her pelvic fractures and brain bleed.

And now, the long adjustment. Kathy and I were very close--physically and emotionally--growing up, but in our adult lives, we've seen each other only occasionally.

Front: Aunt Linda, Kathy, Jenny (her sister)
Back: My mom (hiding), Grandma, me, my crazy fabulous sister

Her parents, her husband, and her daughters, however, now have to adjust to life as amputees. A big, vital part of their lives disappeared in an instant. They keep looking down, expecting to see her. They could use your prayers, good wishes, positive energy...whatever goodness you can send out into the universe.

I'm grateful for my department and their support as I went to NC for the funeral and had to cancel a class. I'm grateful for my students, who took the change in schedule in stride. I've never cancelled a class for personal reasons in all my years as an adjunct.

I'm so grateful for the cards I've received.

I'm grateful to the baristas at Starbucks. I walked up to the counter at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning after sitting in my car texting Kathy's husband and crying. I looked like hell. The first barista didn't even say hello. She just said, in the kindest, most sincere voice imaginable, "What's wrong?" "I just got back in town last night from a funeral," I blurted. "I'm so sorry." And then they called my name when my drink was ready. I walked up to this cup and started crying again.

I think I might spend a little too much time at Starbucks.

I'm grateful for all the kind comments and emails on my last post. Stampers are the best sort of people.

I'm grateful for some time today to stamp. I'm not exactly in form since my stamping time has been cut so dramatically, and it's a good thing I have a stash of store-bought Christmas cards. But it was fun to get inky and make a few cards and some pretty trash.

On the school teaching is so very satisfying! I was asked to participate in a study this semester, and it's going very well. Also, the English Department is promoting me to Lecturer II status. It's taken over a year, but I do feel like I'm getting my feet under me again. It's wonderful.

My thanks to those of you who are holding on to my blog and most especially those who continue to send cards to Karen's Card Shop. You're keeping it going! (Two of the cards I received were purchased there!) I miss stamping so much, I miss being able to sit down and produce something blog-worthy in a half-hour or so. I miss being able to play.

There's a time to every purpose under heaven. Now's the time for grieving, working, and seeking balance. But as Paul says, in all things give thanks. Thank you, Lord, for all things, but most especially so many good people.

If you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear what you're grateful for. There's so much goodness in the world, and we should celebrate it. Kathy would appreciate that!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


  1. You and your dear cousin's family will be in my prayers. Today I am grateful for my sweet grandchildren. We had the two middles (age 2 and 4) all day today while their mom and dad took the two oldest (5 and 7) and the baby for a day long outing at the Field Museum. We rarely get 1 on 1 (or in this case) 2 on 2 time with them. So grateful that they live close by and we get to be a part of their lives.

    1. Oh what a wonderful thing to be grateful for! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Hope you find peace as you grieve. Congratulations on your success teaching. I am sure you are a light in your students' lives. Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of my heart surgery and I am beyond grateful for feeling better. Hugs

    1. Congratulations, Joan. I'm so glad you're doing better!

  3. I hope you find your balance. I miss your creativity and your writing. I understand the demands on your time; I still miss you.

    I am grateful for a brand new grandchild. I am grateful for the young woman who decided that she wanted her daughter to have a life that she could not provide. I am ever so grateful that my son and daughter in law were chosen to adopt beautiful little Hannah.

    1. Congratulations! New grandbabies are always such a wonder and blessing, and how wonderful that your son and DIL have been blessed by Hannah and are a blessing to her!

  4. Praying for all whose lives Kathy touched and all those she loved and that loved her.

    So sorry for your loss.

    Thankful and grateful that you are enjoying teaching again!

    Miss your postings, but fulling understand the limits on your time. Working full time puts a crunch on our free time.



  5. Oh Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. It sounds like she was a very special and good person, who touched many. I will pray for her family, friends, and others whose lives may have been touched or changed by her goodness. Big squeezy hugs to you, dear friend.

  6. Oh Susan, I'm so sorry for the loss of your cousin! I'm praying the Lord will send you a million little joys to counterbalance this great sorrow. I call it the Gift of Joy at Little Things, and it's a gift the Lord gave me after my parents died when I was young. It's how I survived, and I'm very grateful for it. It's the ability to notice and take joy from simple little things--a pretty flower, the evening sunlight on the trees, the light on the water, a pretty melody. If you notice and store up all those little joys, they help to counterbalance the great sorrows. Mercy, grace, peace, and love to YOU.

    1. The Gift of Joy at Little Things. I love this so much and will use it. Thank you!


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