Smiles and Sticks of Gums

If you look closely at the glass here, you can see my doughy fingerprints all over my morning cup of pumpkin pie in a mug. I was busy making Thanksgiving rolls, while I sipped. I was thirsty… for that.

While I rolled the dough, Tom, our kindergartener’s turkey, stood watch. This work was just long enough time for me to remember the words of Maya Angelou. Yesterday, I just happened to have some quiet alone minutes in the car to hear her talk about gratitude, and how important it is to have a grateful heart. But she went further to say that when we give, we receive. No news there — but she added something else. “When we give, we give so much more than we will ever know.”

More than we’ll ever know. Given the heart-felt week we’ve had here, those words are ringing through my head like a train — and my heart aches for all of those upcoming moments when they will want to say one more thing — but they can’t.

You can’t help but ponder Angelou’s words, and realize how right she is. Think of all those people who stepped into your life while you were growing up, who offered just enough encouragement to keep you going. Or, think of those sweet simple smiles and sticks of gums that were handed to us as children. For me, many of those people no longer walk this earth, yet they still walk across my heart every once in a while just because of what they gave. Knowing that it goes on forever, giving something each day can become an effortless way to live.

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