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Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

Somebody left an anonymous gift for me – I hope I never find out who did it

A few years ago, I moved to a window office at work and sent an email around letting everyone know I had relocated. In the email, I jokingly invited everyone to come by for a “tour” of the new space and apologized that I didn’t have any hors d’oeuvres for my guests.

Well, I didn’t have hors d’oeuvres yet. Read more

Lessons learned from running through the airport with a Christmas ham

It was Christmas Day of 2002 and I boarded a flight to Milwaukee with a ham as a carry-on. The ham was a gift from my mom to my ham-loving brother.

The ham was in a box, which I put in the overhead compartment next to my bag, and then waited to take off. Unfortunately, though, we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes, raising the risk of me missing my connecting flight in Detroit. Read more

The one good thing that happened during my worst Christmas ever

“Honey, I’m not feeling well,” I said as my stomach began churning after Christmas Eve dinner at my sister’s house.

Three hours later, I was slumped over a toilet, feeling the full effect of a merciless virus. Read more

Mom didn’t enjoy her last Christmas with all of her kids (and that’s OK)

It was Christmas of 1984, and my mother crammed my three older siblings and me into a compact car and took us to Arkansas to celebrate the holiday. I vaguely remember it — my mother, on the other hand, remembers it quite clearly. Apparently, it was pretty rough.

No doubt, putting one adult, two older teenagers and two small boys into a small car for six hours was a recipe for disaster. One of us — I shall not say who — was behaving horribly and Mom couldn’t seem to get control of the situation. She was exasperated nearly the entire time. Read more

Thanksgiving as a kid — a day without shame

For a period of time in third grade, I cringed when it came time to pay for my lunch — there wasn’t enough money for us to pay for it.

I felt humiliated by getting free lunch. I had seen kids walk up to the lunch lady without handing her any change and I had looked down on them. Now I was one of those kids. Read more

What happened when I said “thank you” to an unpopular cop

One time, I met a D.C. traffic-directing cop in the line at the mall and I remarked how dangerous her job was.

“I mean, people in D.C. drive so crazy,” I said. “You could get killed.”

“Oh no,” she said, “don’t feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for the people in parking enforcement. They get screamed at, spat on, cursed out – you name it. It’s horrible.” Read more

What happened the sixth time I went to the principal’s office

When I was in third grade, I had problems behaving. My heart was in the right place, but my good intentions didn’t make it to the surface a lot of the time. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to follow the rules. Read more

This lady had no idea she was about to be an answer to my desperate prayer

I was a poor law student living on $300 a month, and as soon as I saw the police cars down the road, I instinctively put my foot on the break. I couldn’t afford a ticket.

It was just a police checkpoint though. I slowed down, stopped beside the officer, and handed him my driver’s license. He furrowed his brow. Read more

With these four words, I knew my wife loved me

I sat on a bench in a beautiful cemetery visiting with the woman who would be my wife and tried to ignore my sad, racing heart. Our relationship was about to end — not because I wanted it to — because she was about to learn the awful truth.

“There’s something I need to tell you,” I said. Read more

Facing Thanksgiving in the midst of loss

I have a friend who will have an empty seat at his Thanksgiving table this year. That seat belonged to his father, who died recently.

A few days ago, a doctor told another friend that his dad probably wouldn’t live to see Thanksgiving next year.

I have yet another friend who was in a car accident and is in the hospital with serious injuries right now. He will be having Thanksgiving there. Read more