Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Speaking Gratitude

As the American holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, we find our own ways of celebrating, or, for some of us, not celebrating. Some have traditional dinners with friends or family. Some are uncomfortable with the controversial origins of the holiday and choose not to acknowledge it, while others embrace the first Thanksgiving narrative. Some choose, like me, to focus on the concept of giving thanks and counting blessings.

This year of navigating cancer has given me numerous opportunities to say “thank you” to so many people: people in the medical profession who cared for my body with superlative skill and infinite compassion, family who lovingly stepped up to make sure everything was taken care of, friends who reached out in countless ways to let me know that I was not alone, and even strangers who crossed my path with amazing synchronicity to say or do exactly what was needed at that moment.

While I like to think of myself as someone who readily expresses gratitude, I could hardly keep up with all the thanks I felt this year, because I have been on the receiving end of more love and kindness and generosity and compassion and caring than any year I can remember. As much as possible, I spoke my gratitude along the way, often leading to a deeper shared experience, enhancing the quality of the exchange of giving and receiving in a way that unspoken thanks would have missed.

When we have an encounter with our own mortality, as one does with a serious illness, we often experience a poignant sense of time, how quickly it passes, how precious every moment is, and how important it is to not put things off. This Thanksgiving, I want to focus not only on feeling grateful, but on speaking my gratitude every chance I get. So let me say to you that I am grateful for your presence here, grateful that you take the time and interest to connect with me through this medium, grateful for the friendships I’ve made and for the interesting conversations. You are a blessing in my life, and I thank you.

Life is short, and we have but little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel this way with us. Oh, be swift to love. Make haste to be kind. ~Henri-Frederic Amiel

6 thoughts on “Speaking Gratitude”

  1. Thankful for the many thoughtful posts you’ve made, good to hear from you again. May your holiday be blessed.

  2. I am very thankful for the beautiful person that you’ve always been and continue to be. Thank you for our friendship for many years.

  3. This heartfelt reflection on the approaching Thanksgiving holiday beautifully encapsulates the essence of gratitude and the transformative power of expressing thanks. The acknowledgment of the support received during the challenging journey of navigating cancer adds a profound layer to the traditional themes of Thanksgiving. The decision to not only feel but also vocalize gratitude emphasizes the significance of genuine human connections and the shared experience of giving and receiving.

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