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Giving Thanks in the Midst of Smoke

I am blessed to know a woman with the attitude of gratitude. Her name is Mary Kathryn Marcom.

She lives north of San Francisco where people are checking smoke levels, wearing masks, praying for rain, and staying indoors as much as possible.

Knowing Mary Kathryn to be a grateful soul, I asked if she’d tell me, in written form, what she is giving thanks for this year. I was highly aware she lived where it was smoky.

The highlights of what she wrote are below for you. (Mary Kathryn gave me permission to share them with you.)

1. I am grateful to be in the smoke and not the fire.

2. Grateful for my family and pets (though one dog is in the process of dying.)

3. Grateful to have a place to call home. Also grateful for car and other things. So many people have little or nothing.

4. Grateful I like myself well enough to be okay about being alone with myself. (This has not always been the case, she adds.)

5. Grateful for the sound of coyotes howling in the ravine and the deer I saw at work when I looked through a window pane. Nature. I’m very grateful for nature.

6. Grateful for prayer, my way of connecting with God. I need that connection.

7. Grateful I’m able to smile, even though I don’t feel good very often. I so want people to know they count. I smile and think, “I SEE you. You are valuable. You are important.” It’s more than looking. It’s really Seeing. Grateful I can See others.

8. Grateful I love people, no matter what their circumstance, their finances, disability, sexual orientation, politics, race.

9. Grateful for my part-time job and opportunities to be with people.

10. Grateful that my job does not require that I work outside in this smoke. Grateful to not be sleeping in the streets.

11. Grateful for phone, email, and social media which helps me stay connected with others.

12. Strangely to some, I’m grateful for my abuse issues. (I know, right?) Abuse set me on the road to recovery, growing strong, healing. I finally felt like I was heard in recovery, which made everything real. It made me real. If not for that abuse, would I have sought the help which eventually led to who I am now? I am grateful.

13. Again, I am grateful for my coping skills. I have physical illnesses that require the ability to cope. I know how to think in order to stay inside and not fret.

14. Grateful that I learned how to let go of the past and go with the flow.

15. Grateful for my support system, people who care about me.

16. Not trying to be sappy, but I am grateful for friends. And for my skills in coaching/relating/working with others who want to live a good life, no matter what happened to them in the past.

17. What I am most grateful for is the peace I have from trusting God. I turn worries over to Him. Trusting God is my way of living. So grateful. This is how I wait to hear back from doctors about medical tests, the way I deal with the hard stuff and pervasive smoke.

18. Grateful for a resurrected, alive Jesus. He’s real and He helps me every day, every hour.

19. Grateful for the darkness at night, a time to rest from the smoke.

20. Grateful to God for knowing what I want and what I need.

This morning I read Psalm 116. It was written for those of us who have known losses, news of a diagnosis, a divorce, a death, big changes, hard times. God has it covered. Psalm 116.

For God’s greatness, I am so grateful and give thanks. And Mary Kathryn, I especially thank you for sharing your grateful heart. May God bless you and your area with rain.

I thank my readers for being there, for comments, for shares. You are the best.

Pat Durmon

P.S. And readers, you have full permission to Share my Thanksgiving blog. Thank you!

Photo of smoke from fires north of San Francisco in the bay area, taken by Mary Kathryn Marcom, November 2018.

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