It sneaks up on you. Gratitude takes many forms and meanings; enjoying simple pleasures like a sunset on the beach, thankfulness for food on the table and the joy brought to us by family and friends.
Each August I help with a community event in our seaside town. Our event has a name bestowed upon us by an original team member many years ago. We have a story.
..........It was a dark and stormy night in 1977, a voice echoed out of the darkness, from the heart of Padanaram in South Dartmouth, at the round table in the Whale's Tale..."Let's have a party!" my friend Peter declared, "we'll call it...the BLOWOUT!" and so a tradition was born. About 150 friends gathered that summer of 1977 and it became an annual event not-to-be-missed...more people came every year, and it grew...babies were born, and it grew...babies grew and brought their families..........
Without trying, we made money and we gave it away each year to help someone.
We fine-tuned our efforts to make more money.
We have a logo.
We have a tagline: Good Fun for Good Causes
Every year I discover gratitude has a new face.
I am inspired by their stories of courage and determination.
Some are no longer with us but they are not forgotten and I am grateful to have known them.
Today gratitude has a face with solemn eyes and blonde curls. He is 9 years old and his name is Braiden.
When Braiden was approaching his 2nd birthday he was diagnosed with a JPA (Juvenile Pilocitic Astrocytoma) tumor situated at the top of his brainstem. Like so many other sick children, he has endured more than most of us can even imagine in the seven years since that diagnosis.
Now a funny, loving, very brave and soon-to-be ten years old, Braiden has experienced two 13+ hour brain surgeries, a ventriculostomy surgery, a shunt placement surgery, several central line related surgeries, four years of a 24/7 I.V. infusion clinical trial therapy, 49 MRIs…and the list goes on.
Sometimes in our self-absorbed world, we forget to be grateful.
If you happen to be cruising through Massachusetts on August 8th, we always welcome new friends. Learn more at:
“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.”
-John Ortberg, When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box