Friday Gratitude: Celebrating Life

September 6, 2013
Friday Gratitude: Celebrating Life - Sweet and Savoring

Leafy and green: though I love fall colors, I’m savoring this scene while it’s still here!

Hi everyone! Happy September and happy weekend. Is anyone else caught between wanting to still wear flip-flops, yet throwing on that favorite cozy scarf?

As usual, this gratitude post is a mish-mash of recent highlights and inspiration. I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for too, if you’d like to share.

Friday Gratitude! [part fifteen!]

1. Death may not be the most cheerful topic, but this has a positive spin on it, I promise. I’m grateful to have been at my aunt’s memorial service over the weekend, to witness all those who loved her, and to learn more about what an incredible person she was.  I loved attending my great Aunt Helen’s memorial, despite the fact that I didn’t know her very well, because it was such a lovely, life-affirming service. Each of her children (my mother’s cousins) stood up and shared memories and stories about Aunt Helen. Some of them were sad and some made every single person in that standing-room-only church laugh. I felt privileged to witness such a touching tribute to a well-loved and loving woman.

Friday Gratitude: Celebrating Life - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

Wasn’t she beautiful?

After the  service, everyone gathered at Aunt Helen’s house, a home that’s been in my mother’s family for over a hundred years. It was such a pleasant Long Island evening, full of family members reconnecting, laughter, food and drink…in short, it felt like a celebration. How wonderful to gather after someone’s death and really feel that we were celebrating a life! I’d love to use that day as an example for the future- for myself or for others. Of course I don’t wish death on anyone I love, nor have I ever experienced losing someone close to me (I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in that respect), but when the inevitable does happen, I can only hope I or my loved ones are remembered as well and as fondly as Aunt Helen was on Sunday.

2. I’m grateful for the flower arrangement Andy put together while I was at school and left on my desk.

Friday Gratitude: Celebrating Life - Sweet and Savoring

Doesn’t every desk require fresh flowers?

 3. I’m grateful for the Nursing Club and the friendly second-year students who are so welcoming and willing to answer questions from nervous first-years like me. Intensive programs like this are pretty overwhelming at first, and it’s nice to know the students in their third year are approachable. Glad I went to the first club meeting today!

4. Spreading the blog love! I’m grateful for posts like this over on the SITS blog, and this one on Design Mom. Reading about finding joy and being gentle with ourselves is the kind of stuff I don’t feel guilty about when I should probably be reading textbooks instead 😉 

5.  Saugerties First Friday! I’m grateful for an even more enjoyable evening than usual in nearby Saugerties. The best part is that it was all free: art receptions, music performances, wine tastings, cupcakes, the requisite chocolate fountain, and of course we had to stop in to Rock Star Rodeo and try Banana Moon Baking Company‘s latest treats, peach tarts. Arlene picked and processed each peach herself- you cannot get homemade desserts more local or seasonal than these! I can’t even tell you when I last had a peach tart, pie, or crisp that was this delicious, with just the right amount of sweetness. Fantastic!

Friday Gratitude: Celebrating Life - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

Speaking of food, I’ve been on a big coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (possibly my favorite cookie recipe ever) kick this week, as well as a squash and basil waffle kick. Heart, cozy eating.

And finally, thank you to everyone for the warm feedback on last week’s Blogging Anniversary post! I love that I’ve made it this far, and it’s no exaggeration to say that I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

What are you grateful for right now? Does your town/city do a First Friday/Saturday event or something like it? Have you read anything inspiring lately online that you’d like to share?



Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys.    –André Gide

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.  One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.      –Mary Jean Irion


You Might Also Like

  • Aunt Susie September 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Your happiness makes me smile. i can hear such joy for llife in your words. I know, this is, Friday Gratitude< well, I'm just sayin it's shining through. I am so happy for you, always. (((HUGS)))

    • Christy September 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      It’s all ups and downs, really. Today’s a much less joyful day, truth be told. Thank you for the hugs, Aunt Susie. xoxo

  • Libby September 7, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I’m grateful that I’ve found your page. I really enjoy your Friday Gratitude posts. I especially liked how you shared a glimpse of your Aunt Helen’s memorial service. What a wonderful way to honor her life. Hope you have a great new week.

    • Christy September 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you, Libby- it helps to hear that people appreciate these posts! I hope you have a good week, as well.

  • Heather September 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I love the concept of this post. 🙂 I try to live in gratitude daily and be positive/uplifting for others…in fact, it’s what I blog about.

    Stopping by from SITS. Thanks for a post that helps reminds me to live in gratitude.

    Heather @ Exalted Peacock

    • Christy September 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      I appreciate you stopping by, Heather. I’d like to think that practicing gratitude has improved my mental health lately.

  • misssrobin September 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing these moments of your life, especially the memorial service. They can be so tender and wonderful.

    Strange though it may seem, I am grateful that I can be sad freely today. It’s a tough day and no one is pushing me to feel better so they aren’t uncomfortable. It’s an incredible gift and I am grateful for it.

    Happy Sharefest.
    misssrobin recently posted…WritingMy Profile

    • Christy September 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      I completely understand about needing to be alone and allowed to feel your sadness on tough days. Thank you for sharing this, Robin.

  • Deb September 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Love this post, and ask permission to share it with my cousins….a very fitting addition to Aunt Helen’s tribute! She gave everyone the “gift” of being their very true self, just as she was true to herself.

    • Christy September 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      One of my favorite parts of the day was when John read the list of charities & organizations that she supported, that he didn’t even know about. You can share this if you want to!

  • The Dose of Reality September 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Aw! That flower arrangement was such a sweet thing to do! 🙂 Your aunt sounds like such a lovely woman. I’m glad you were able to come together with your family and celebrate her life.

    • Christy September 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      I know! He even emphasized how he paid attention to different colors, heights, and sizes of the flowers when arranging them 🙂
      I’m glad I got to go, too- and it’s not often that I feel that way about a funeral or memorial service. Thank you for your comment.

  • Stevie September 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I understand what you mean about your Aunt Helen’s memorial service, while it hurts to lose someone, there is something beautiful and reverent in celebrating a life in this way. I’m sure it would warm her heart to see you all together. And your hubby is so sweet to leave you those flowers!
    Stevie recently posted…Kiwi’s Tale: The Story of a Rescue DogMy Profile

    • Christy September 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Yes, exactly, Stevie, beautiful and reverent. Andy and I loved hearing stories from Aunt Helen’s life- sometimes I think that’s part of the greatness of having a large family- there’s always someone to pass down the stories, as well as the qualities and traits of those that came before.

  • Tamara September 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Actually, while getting dressed today I put on flip flops and a long sleeved shirt! It reminds me of my SF days for sure. I’m grateful for a job today taking photos of a family and a musician for his album cover.
    I’m grateful for a beautiful day and school starting this week for my daughter!

    • Christy September 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Ha! So I’m not alone. Love the validation and love your gratitude things! Thanks for your comment, Tamara 🙂

  • Erika September 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    🙂 What can I say besides I enjoyed reading this post very much!!! I realized I hadn’t been to your blog in a while and decided to pop over to see how things were going! I’m glad to see you are celebrating being grateful and it just makes me more grateful for things in my own life, too! Gratitude is definitely contagious! 🙂
    Erika recently posted…GEEKING OUT ABOUT: Everyday Happy! (+ Discounts!)My Profile

    • Christy December 21, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Thanks so much, Erika! And sorry for the late response, I took a bit of a break but I think I’m back now. Happy Holidays 🙂

    %d bloggers like this: