It started with memories and wanting to share.
Memories are like a train. Each car connected to the next, pulled by the engine and followed by the caboose. But sometimes, we lose our train of thought; the train cars unhitch and are diverted to a different track leading to a different destination. Mom wanted to keep her memories, record them, send them to her daughters and granddaughters. Mom's memories have become a file in each of our emails.
She started with the memories of Dad, then skipped to parents, her grandparents. Her college studies. When the brightest of memories faded, she moved on to different themes: cars, travel, special occasions.
As Mom's memories were counted and checked off, the weekly Sunday emails transformed into Mom's ruminations. The blessings of granddaughters. Birthdays. Then a niece unexpectedly died, so she shared her thoughts on the precious, fleeting nature of life.
As the weeks passed, as I've read her thoughts, I've noticed they always include and conclude with gratitude.
Yesterday, in a group of friends, we asked each other, "What's the secret to a good life?"
When it was my turn, I paused--because to reveal the secret of life requires thought. After fifteen seconds of waiting for the right answer it came: gratitude.
Almost 80 years of life later, Mom is an example of having found the secret to a good life and then she made good use of that secret. Gratitude is at the core of her train of memories.