It’s the month we celebrate several things including veterans, pets, America. Thanksgiving is around the corner and in the United States this is a holiday which means more (or should) than planning the trek to stores that are open for “Black Friday”/Thanksgiving Thursday.
Anticipating spending this Thanksgiving in Montana with my parents, I cannot help but reflect back to nearly a year after my mother’s first knee replacement surgery. It was a difficult time; her recovery was slow and painful, but within a few months she was walking better than she had in several years. This past May she went through a second knee surgery, this time on the other leg, and her recovery was much quicker and now her walk is much smoother and much less painful. A great blessing!
I’ve experienced many blessings this past year, including several magazine writing assignments, a new book, and healthy pets (despite several ups and downs). My husband and I have also experienced sorrow, in particular the loss of his father. As we look to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents, we also look forward to sharing Christmas with his mother. Friendships surround us as well, people we enjoy being with and people who have helped us in time of need. And, our pets give us special companionship, help us smile and keep us warm at night (especially lately!) Another great blessing: our family and friends, both humans and four-leggeds. And yet another: the increase in my writing, including venturing into a new genre!
With the onslaught of a bitter cold, snowy winter, I look around me and see a multitude of other blessings: warm shelter, food in the pantry and on the table, machines which wash clothes and dishes, blankets, beds, and two running cars. I have a stable job in addition to the writing work I’m doing and my husband’s business has picked up since spring. We have a bounty of blessings for which to be thankful for this year … including those which we often take for granted.
As this year draws to an end and a new one looms on the horizon, may we be ever mindful of the bounty of blessings each of us receives while looking forward to great goals and new challenges.
Gayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, and Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. Her latest book is a follow-up to the devotion book: Devotions for Dog Lovers Volume 2: Sage Advice. She is also a contributing writer to five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, including the latest dog book The Dog Did What?, released August 2014. She also writes for WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric Network), Crossroads, Creation Illustrated, and Our Town Casper magazines, as well as for the Casper Journal, River Press, and Douglas Budget newspapers. She’s also authored a guidebook for owners of blind dogs, available on Kindle. She has a passion for pets and volunteers for and donates a percentage of her writing revenues to several animal welfare organizations. Visit her website at www.gaylemirwin.com.