60 Gifts I’m Grateful for (Part 2)

11. My mom is alive and well, healthy and full of cheerfulness and kindness at 89. We get to see her almost every day, and I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for a mother so full of love, encouragement, and warmth. I can’t imagine what life would have been like without her. Well … I wouldn’t be here, for one!
12. Of all the people I’ve ever known, my brother Peter is among those I respect the most. As a kid, he had to put up with a big brother who way too often teased him and way too seldom appreciated him. But now, older, whenever I think of my brother, I am inspired by his great heart, hard work, and solid character … not to mention his superior golf game.
13. Grace. We’ll celebrate 37 years of marriage in a couple months, and I’m really impressed with how two people who are so different (ENTP, INFJ) could make such a great team … raising amazing kids, helping start a wonderful church, supporting one another in so many projects and adventures, and being good to each other through all life’s ups and downs. I couldn’t be more grateful for Grace as my partner in life.
14. Rachel: The only thing better than having Rachel as a daughter is seeing her thrive as a mom. I feel like she’s not just one of my kids; she’s a great friend.
15. Brett: The only thing better than having Brett as a son is seeing him thrive as a dad. And I feel like he’s not just one of my kids; he’s a great friend.
16. Trevor: As a child, Trevor became known as a cancer survivor. Now, as an adult, he is a phenomenal human being who brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart whenever I think of him.
17. Jodi: We share so many things … a love for music, a love for good literature, a love for the outdoors. One of the highlights of my sabbatical was having her invite me to come out west and teach her to fly fish … something new to have in common.
18. My kids’ spouses … Jesse, Breana, and Owen are as much a part of our family as our biological children, and I am so grateful for each of them.
19. In-Laws: I think of how much my brothers- and sisters-in-law have meant in my life over these 60 years …
20. Cousins/Aunts & Uncles: I think of the great blessing of extended family … from shared vacations to family reunions years ago, and now, to rare and special chances to reconnect (often at a memorial service to honor and celebrate the generation that is passing).
More tomorrow …