Moments of clarity always come to me when I am the least likely to be open to it. Last September 10th, on my way to West Point for the last of many funerals, and after delayed flights and a car rental experience from hell, I found myself stuck on the Major Deegan Expressway at rush hour. Starving and exhausted, I looked up from a dead standstill to see a billboard sign hidden in the dark sky, one word in bold type, GRATTITUDE. Misspelled (like every word I spell) with an extra T and a backwards E, I couldn't help but smile at the irony.
Gratitude: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and kindness.
How is it that such a simple word with such a clear definition, can be so hard to practice in my own life. Yet, there it was, my lesson for the day, staring me down from above, so that I couldn't possibly miss it. GRATITUDE. I was grateful that day, to be going to my Great Aunts Skippy's funeral, on of all days 9/11, thankful for her life and her lessons that she left to all that loved her. Practice gratitude everyday, even in the dark and in traffic, and you will find happiness. It's not complicated at all.
As if my Great Aunt Skip would have had it any other way, her funeral was a clear celebration of life, we laughed we smiled, we shared only the good times. Afterwards, we jumped in our cars, drove up and down the Hudson River Parkway and celebrated on the water with great food and wine and basked in the sun light.