Thankfulness: Del Morrill’s Story: Ordinary People Making a Positive Difference


Journal writing on Monday, November 14, 2011, 6:50 am, (Re-sent date 11/22/2018)

It all started with the blowing of my nose!

For some reason this morning, I’m more aware of what we in this country been given to make life more comfortable, and that probably is unavailable to a good many people on this earth.  The simple act of blowing my nose on a soft tissue, and the availability of toilet paper, stirred my thoughts.  So many amazing amenities in life have been created to ease me.

I lie in a warm bed with soft sheets of T-shirt-type material. A carpet lies next to the bed across the floor to make my feet feel warmer when I step out of bed. I’m able to write with just about any type of pen I wish. Someone has put lined papers together into creating this tidy book to make journal-writing even more pleasant. The newspaper lies here ready for me to read at my leisure. Coffee in the mug next to me warms me, as does the man who brought it to me.  I have books to enjoy reading- -some most each day. 

The newspaper both relaxes me and stirs my anger juices, keeping me aware.  Nearby is a TV set if I wish to get stirred further.  In front of me are the closet doors that hide any number of choices of things to wear.  And my breakfast will consist of any one of about three choices I like – more, if I really wanted them. I become acutely aware that all around the world are those who rise to the same outfit of clothing and the same thing to eat – pprobably a single dish, if at all lucky. 

As I continue to look around the room in which I’ve awakened, and consider the start of my day, I can’t help thinking, in this strange mood that has taken over me, of all the many people present in this very room by means of the energy they have put into all the things around me that make me more comfortable. Are they comfortable too?  Do they get enough to eat?  Are they warm?  Do they have some of the things around them that ease their lives?  I dearly hope so.  But the niggling thought within me is that probably many of them do not.  I sincerely thank all of those who do have them – and all of those who do not have them, who are keeping me aware of that fact!

I started to close this book for the day, yet can’t stop the thoughts coming into my mind, as well.  For I find myself recalling all of the people in my nearly 79 years (now 86 this month) who have enriched my life in one way or another – my family, of course, and its extensions and the heritage of all those who came before me; those who helped raise me, tolerated me, taught me as I grew into adult-hood; those I worked with – some who enlightened me, some who angered me, and others who hurt me; friends who came and went and others who have stayed in my life.

All have enriched and educated me, helping evolve into this imperfect human being who has never been willing to just sit back and accept all of life the way it is, yet who has come to be somewhat less judgmental about it.  This one who has less physical energy to do much about the inequities of life, yet still suffers over them; who has a lot less dissatisfaction, and less need to have answers to all of the unanswerables in life, yet still questions, at the same time, about that which she knows she can’t change.  She’s the one who must caution herself when she begins to question how others choose to live their lives and sit on the rising cynicism when she listens to politicians and watches a dysfunctional congress.  And then, turns instead to the aspects of life in which she knows she has the capacity to affect in a positive way. 

I’m grateful for the journey I’ve taken thus far in this brief span of life – a fantastic family of individuals who have decided to be positive forces in this world rather than contribute to its decay; an array of colleagues and friends, some of whom continue to enrich my life, regardless of whether we agree on everything; my clients who keep teaching me about courage and endurance through sometimes the most unbelievable struggles that are beyond anything I have ever had to experience in my own life.

And, despite a few aches and pains and occasional spells in the hospital, I’m grateful for this body that has gone through so much for so many years, yet continues to carry me forward long after I thought it should have given up. 

For the most basic things that sustain life, I give special thanks this year, and for all that is beyond the basic sustenance that has enriched my soul. 

And, today, and forever, for each person who has participated in that journey with me, including you, I do thank you.


About jofacilitator

On Sept 1, 2020, I celebrated 50 years of work with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, facilitating meetings, groups, communities, and organizations, making it possible for ordinary people to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. I retired on December 31, 2021, but still volunteer with the organization.
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