After the shock, horror, and grief all of us felt over the events of this past week, I began to look for the blessings they brought into my life and the lives of those around me.
Our daughter-in-law squeezed her first-grader’s hand and gave her an extra hug and kiss as she walked her into school. “I’m so grateful that my children are well and alive, and my heart is broken for those who have lost loved ones,” she said.
Our oldest daughter works with youth in inner city Philadelphia and has spent hours collecting books and warm clothing for their Christmas. “I’m grateful to be associated with these children and share my love with them.”
While I filled my tutoring assignment at the neighborhood grade school, I looked at each one of the energetic boys I read with each week, and I treasured my time with them—a little more than I have in the past.
As I reflected on my reaction to the tragedies, I thought of a truism given us by Betty Smith who wrote A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:
Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first or last time, and thus is your time on earth filled with glory.
The gift I take away from this past week is a remembrance to cherish life. Whether it’s the beauty of newly frosted snow clinging to the trees, sticky little finger prints on my patio door, or a hug from a precious grandchild, I will value each moment as if I were seeing it for the first or last time.