I felt an overwhelmingly particular sense of gratitude this afternoon as I drove home from visiting a few widows on my route. I'm not sure if it was just knowing there are people sitting at home waiting for someone to knock at the door or if it was seeing the two friendly homeless vets waving at me and my screaming children or if it was feeling an unusual chill in this rather flat forecast, but I felt a deep sense of gratitude for all that I have in my life right now. 

My life is not perfect. As I sat there experiencing whatever it was I was experiencing, Elle was screaming so loudly that I noticed people rolling up their windows. I obviously did not expect to feel anything other than frustration, but I did. When feelings of gratitude hit me, they nearly knock me down and take all the air out of me. Probably because I'm not grateful enough, but I should be. 

I think a lot about people less fortunate than me. I worry about the homeless and downtrodden. I teach my girls to be kind to everyone they meet. We do not have a lot, but we do give when we can. I have taught my girls to tell our favorite "homeless vets" (as noted on their cardboard boxes) to use the two quarters to buy an apple or a water. They say it every time, and every time the vets smile their near-toothless smile and say, "I will." I hope they do, but I don't really care if they don't. 

I don't know why I think about them so much, but I do. One day I was waiting to turn left at a traffic light and a man asked me what I had in my car that was making such a terrible noise. I replied, "A two-year old girl singing primary songs." He shook his head gently, smiled, and said, "I have three of my own somewhere." In that moment, my heart hurt for this man. I'm not sure if it was his decision to live on the street, but I wondered about his parents and his three children. I think that about every single person I see on the street. It's all a mystery. 

I am so grateful for the people in my life. More than all my possessions (which are few I admit), I am grateful for the people. I know so many wonderful people. Do I write about this too much? Can you write about this too much? Anyway, gratitude. It's on my mind and in my heart tonight. 

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley