Being grateful for our blessings is the easy part. Being grateful for the bumps and ditches, gullies and catastrophic chasms in the road, not so much.

Tomorrow will be the first Thanksgiving without Mom.

A scant year ago, Mom was prodding me with her walker in my brother’s kitchen, reminding me (unnecessarily) to put lots of butter and brown sugar on the yams before I put them into the oven.

Clearly, I remember how she filled her plate to overflowing—twice! Her zesty appetite was only matched by her continuous chatter. How that woman liked to talk! Only when her mouth was full were we able to get a word in edgewise.

It’s difficult right now for me to begin to sort my thoughts, much less type them into coherent sentences, so I’ll just jump straight to the moral of the story:

Look around you tomorrow. Be conscious of the quiet joys. Memorize the moments. You never know what trials the next year will bring, or who will be missing from your table.