Being Grateful

Catching Up — By on November 1, 2009 10:00 PM

I recall saying this every year but I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already! Another year to look back and contemplate the efforts you made toward your goals. Did I drink enough water? Did I work hard enough at my business to reach my fiscal goals? Did I treat people the way I would want to be treated? Lots to mull over as the last two months of the year pass by. I know for America the year was very trying with war, and more war, the recession, people losing their homes and jobs, and too much more to list. It is here that I found my epiphany of the year.

My boyfriend, Russ, and his friend Joe were on their way home from a “boys day out” when they came across a great house, set on a cliff, with a beautiful view of rolling hills and farms below. Joe, a builder, found out that the owner of the house, a woman in her forties, with two teenage kids, had her bank foreclose on her home because she wasn’t able to keep up with the mortgage payments. “What a great find!” -Russ and Joe thought, as they found out more and more about the home and its three acres that it was sitting on -for a record low price! What could be better than this deal?

Russ was so excited to show me the house that on one of our casual Sunday drives, out exploring, he took me to this quaint little house, set into a beautiful cliff, to show me the great find. We parked at the bottom of the hill and took a healthy walk up to the house. The day was beautiful, sunny, mild weathered, and clear- you could see for miles from where the house sits. He told me, to my surprise, that the sliding glass door in the back of the house was actually unlocked! So we looked at each other and then took a peak inside to see what the house was really made of.

The walls were sturdy, the floors were level, there was a finished basement and a second floor full of bedrooms. It was much larger on the inside than we expected. The kitchen cabinets looked relatively new, the room placement was very relaxed and easy to navigate, the steps were made very well and there were beautiful hard wood floors that just needed a little love to make them sparkle. It seemed as though the house was made very well.

But what this house was made of was something much more than level floors and thick and sturdy walls. It was made up of memories-ones that hadn’t had a chance to mature, to be fulfilled, to tell a complete story. Why? Because everything that was once in the possession of this woman and her two children was still in the house, awaiting their return. I walked in through the sliding glass door and let in a big, deep breath as I looked around at the mail on the table, the pictures all over the walls and refrigerator of family and friends, the cell phone and digital camera on the built in bay window that allowed brilliant light into the cozy, lived in, living room. There were clothes still in the laundry room, waiting to be washed, and some in the closets, neatly folded, there was food in the cabinets, I dare not open the fridge! There were memories, old ones and new ones that were waiting to be made, in every room, in every inch of this space that three people, in this big world, called home. It was safety, it was contentment, it was a place to rest their bodies and minds, to be creative, to find some time to be alone and just think, a place to hide when the world gets a little too tough to handle that day.

But there was no place to hide anymore. This house was on public display. All of the secrets have been revealed. This house is nothing but someone’s open diary that was left to be picked up and read by foreign hands and eyes. And this was a diary that, I am quite sure, never wanted to be exposed to anyone but the owner.

This is what FORECLOSURE really means. It’s raw, impatient and unforgiving. It has strict deadlines and doesn’t care how you feel or how many tears you have cried. It doesn’t care about your reasons or your attempts to start over. It is nothing but a swift end to a relationship that it has no emotional connection to.

I walked through the entire house, didn’t move a thing, and was barely breathing- walking in silence- feeling the pain and stress of what had happened here-hands over my mouth in shock. Wondering all along how it came to this. What that woman was going through to not only overturn her life but the lives of her children. How bad it really was to leave everything they worked so hard to buy and create and love. And where were they now?

Sometimes things can’t be helped. Sometimes things like this really have reasons that cause them to get so bad. But I implore you, please have compassion for one another this holiday season and understand that you may never know what that person or that family had to endure this past year.

And I call out to you today to remind you to wake up every morning and remember what you have in your life to be grateful for. It is so important to remember, no matter how much or how little you have or how well your life is going or how hard it can be, never to forget that you always have so much- even with so little- to be grateful for.

Peace and Happiness to you and your family this holiday season.

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