Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's never too late for gratitude (My Sacred Life, Sunday)

It has been a long time since I wrote a post specifically as a Sacred Life, Sunday post.

Today seems like a good time to break the habit of not writing them.

If I were to list all the areas where my life could stand improvement, I could list dozens of items. The question is, where would I be at the end of writing such a list?


Instead, today is a simple gratitude-driven message. Heck...gratitude-driven, gratitude-fueled, gratitude-focused!

It strikes me, this morning, that I am among the most-fortunate folks on the planet. Here's the evidence.

As has been the case for more than eleven years, it begins with my wife, Julia. She is everything to me, and as important as all that she does for me and teaches me is the fact that she needs me. If you want a relationship which lasts, be certain that you need each other. Julia and I are better people for being together. I would wager that she would agree. It's not always a comfortable situation, and that's another important point I wish to make. We grow, just as all God's creatures do, in the face of discomfort, and at least partly because of it. I am blessed beyond measure to know Julia. To be her husband is a miracle.

The four girls, really all young women now, who constitute my offspring are the center of my heart. They will change the world in ways no one can yet imagine. Each of them brings something different in their unique talents, and they all are so passionate about life and love what they do so much. It is honestly hard to remember who I was before I became a dad. It is my honor to be the father of Aubrie, Allison, Wendy-Anne, and Claire.

Because my wife and I just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary a week ago, I'll include a photo (old style: a scanned image of a real picture you can hold in your hand) here because it is from a magical day when all of my life's blessings were within my reach, all at the same time.
I'm blessed to know Julia's lifelong friends, all of whom came to our wedding. One of them visited us only two weeks ago, her first trip to Denver since our wedding. These are special people, folks one would love to be able to count as friends. I know how lucky I am to know them, and, yes, I count them as friends.

There are several people with whom I am still in contact from my days in the Air Force, now almost 30 years distant. Darryl, Jimmy, Pat: you are gems, and I look forward to continuing to touch base for many years more. We only knew each other for a couple of years at Ramstein, so it is special to still know you today.

I'm happy to say I have seen them all since our days in the service, and I hope to see them again as our various travels bring us into proximity.

For someone as ancient as I am, my health is very good. Sure, it takes me a couple of steps to get all the parts working again if I have been seated for a long time, but I can tolerate such an issue with no problem. Overall, my odds of seeing my kids' kids all grown up are pretty good. I'm grateful to be fully functional at this point in my life.

While I have finally come to accept the fact that I will never dunk a basketball, I can still play golf (note to self: play some golf this year!) and I can probably still bowl, at least a game or two (note to self: bowl!). Both games were central to my life for many years. When I was 12 or so and lived in Texas, I would ride my bike to the golf course (or the bowling lanes) and tote the appropriate sports equipment along with me. If you have never tried riding a bike while carrying either a set of golf clubs or a bowling bag, don't try it now. You are too old. It's a skill best learned when 12.

Finally, I am most grateful to be who I am. Yes, it is a bit of an odd thank-you to offer, but I truly am as happy as I can be to be exactly who I have become, and I'm grateful to have a clear path toward new adventures which will allow me to grow and become someone I like even better.

If all of this sounds too good to be true, you need to sit down and write your own blessings list. You may be amazed to discover how much you have to be grateful for. Feel free to let me know where your list takes you!


Olivia said...

I love the picture, Rick, and the sentiments, and am SO glad to see you back for Sacred Sundays. Looking forward to more! xo, O

Lynilu said...

What a wonderful list. And what a good idea for each of us to do our own. I ponder on this and see what I come up with. I have no doubt that I will be richer for the effort. :)

Julie said...

Great Pic and Great reminder! Thanks!

Olivia said...

I came up with my own list today, Rick. It was a great exercise, made me feel absolutely WONDERFUL! and grateful for my many blessings. Thank you for the inspiration. Love, O

Rick Hamrick said...

Gosh, ladies, I am honored to see that you all came by today!

O--I really love that photo. It's great to hear that you found the idea of noting your gratitude to be helpful.

Lyn--there are no limits. Make your own list when you feel inspired to write it out. You are already richer simply for considering it!

Jules--bless you and that cat of yours who is convinced teeny snakes are toys. She is doing the best she can, just as we all are.

CrystalChick said...

Hello. I wander by every so often from either Olivia's or Jane's blogs.
I enjoyed reading this. Awesome!

Rick Hamrick said...

CrystalChick--you are welcome any time you want to stop by.

Thanks for your kind words.