In October General conference, President Monson said something that caught my attention. He said, “The English author Aldous Huxley wrote, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” “We often take for granted the very people who most deserve our gratitude. Let us not wait until it is too late for us to express that gratitude. Speaking of loved ones he had lost, one man declared his regret this way: “I remember those happy days, and often wish I could speak into the ears of the dead the gratitude which was due them in life, and so ill returned.” After conference finished I sat down and wrote a letter to my dad who was in failing health.
Dear Dad I’m sorry to hear that you are in the hospital. I hope they are making you comfortable. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate having you as a father. Thank you for taking care of me, during the wild ride up to Salt Lake when I was two, And standing by me while I was in the hospital. Thank you for teaching me to enjoy learning; learning to work hard, and study well. Thank you for all the adventures we went on as a family, the Grand Canyon, Estes Park, Yellowstone, Disneyland and many more. Thank you for loving Mom and taking care of her; for showing us how a loving family should behave . Thank you for going to church, taking us with you, and making us get up for Seminary.
I appreciate the times you had to take in me and my boys; the times you came up to the house at all hours to fix things that broke; the time you drove all the way to Santa Fe because I locked the keys in the car. I appreciate you teaching me to drive, and change the oil and a tire. Thank you for letting me help fix the roof, work in the garden, lay tile, and paint the rooms. Thank you for putting your arms around me when Bruce died and then Michael, and let me know that I was loved. Thank you for being a good father and a great example. I love you very much. Thank you for loving me.
President Monson continued, “The loss of loved ones almost inevitably brings some regrets to our hearts. Let’s minimize such feelings as much as humanly possible by frequently expressing our love and gratitude to them. We never know how soon it will be too late.
A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort—at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
My dad died Friday, Oct. 15, 2010, fifteen days short of his ninety sixth birthday. My brothers, sister and I, as well as several of his grandchildren were able to say good bye.
I am a retired old woman trying to learn new things. I've decided that since my children are grown I would start some new adventures in life. So I moved across the country to a big city.
I'm blogging in hopes that someone will read and enjoy my writings. Next I'll get out the old paintbrush!
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