HILLARY M. STONE – FALL 2016
EMBRACING WHO WE ARE – LET’S COME TOGETHER TO BUILD OUR CIRCLE – THE GATHERING
Welcome! I waited to release November’s theme on gratitude due to this reflection centers on what happened or did not happened around the Thanksgiving table. One could only imagine the conversations – whether the topics were all about the epicurean delights served, the newest enlightened chat, and/or the heightened political climate and its aftermath of brutality on both sides. Sometimes gratitude reflections are left at the table and quietly forgotten and not acted upon, only to revisit the following year.
I did not want to forget or revisit my gratitude a year from now. This year, Thanksgiving was in Florida with my 93-year old aunt. As a divorced mother, part of my own acceptance in life is that holidays are split equally according the equal/odd years. It is a very hard time for me as I struggle to watch others celebrate with their children while knowing that my little girl is celebrating two streets away. I cannot kiss and wish her Happy Thanksgiving at my own dining table. Hmmm.
So, this year, instead of swallowing my feelings and wiping my tears, I created for myself a new meaning of Thanksgiving. Deciding to make a new start or shall I say new memory, it was my mother who selflessly suggested that I spend my time with her eldest sister. My Aunt Lu planned to stay in Florida during this holiday spending her time with a couple of friends at the country club. As her family scattered all over the country, she just recently returned from California celebrating with all of them knowing that to turn around and travel again would be hard and very tiring. So, I decided spend Thanksgiving with Aunt Lu.
I flew to Florida on Tuesday and the minute I laid eyes on Aunt Lu, I knew that 2016 Thanksgiving was meant for me to be present and grateful for everything that life has to offer, the good and the bad. To describe Aunt Lu, the first word would be exquisite. When she walks in a room all eyes look upon her; it is not only her beauty, but also her presence and energy. Aunt Lu is strong and her words and actions have no mercy especially when she loves you. The bite of Aunt Lu is felt, but I can honestly say, if you listen and learn, her advice can prevent a greater pain. Her life reflections can solve both small and complex issues whether they are trivial or serious. One will know not only how to set the proper table, entertain both intimate and large gatherings, but most importantly how to always maintain strength, dignity and grace in whatever personal and/or professional situation(s).
She is before Martha Stewart in creating a home and business. Our conversations range from recipes, design/architecture, career, money, and politics – oh yes politics, and she is so not thrilled about our President elect. Aunt Lu is my Thanksgiving gift. She filled my time with value and I am so honored to be able to share and listen how she talked about life, marriage, and family. As I joined her and her friends, I knew that I pictured my life differently years ago, but my journey led me to sip tea with this incredible woman. I spent four days of learning and laughing, only to take with me her knowledge that assist me in always maintaining strength, dignity and grace. This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful to have my daughter, family/friends and in a very special way, to have an Aunt Lu. What a true blessing it was to be a part of her Thanksgiving table.
THANSGIVING GIFT (S) – identifying & SHARING
As you look back at your Thanksgiving table, how do you reflect on what happened or did not happened?
Were you able to agree and come together to realize life’s importance? Can you list the gift(s) given on the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday?
GRATITUDE time – identifying & SHARING
Again, identify and share what you are grateful for as we embark this holiday season?
How can you make sure you carry this thru the next year?
I look forward to your words and with always with Gratitude…