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Posts about gratitude

I Wish You Warmth!

Sandra Fabiani

Warmth is a fire place in winter.
Warmth is the love of your family and friends.
Warmth is compassion end empathy.
Warmth is a smile and kindness from strangers.
Warmth is a hug when we are feeling bad.
Warmth is kind words when you are doubting yourself.

Monica Lewinsky

Soul connecting hugs …

Ben Stiller

Fireplaces, hearths, wood. Everything I didn’t experience growing up […]
Also puppies and Xmas music

Caitlin Geghan

My dad’s last letter to me—words of encouragement & love, handed to me after he passed for our first Christmas without him. (Amazing how a single paragraph of love can push you through the hardest days. I reread it whenever I need his long-armed hugs.)

Sarah Hajar

Warmth is "Sabrina's Scarf"

December 2014. Amman. On a bus. Ready to move on. A little girl appeared. Our guide called to us. "Anyone has extra scarf for this girl. She is from the Syrian refugee camp." My sister Sabrina took off hers.

Melinda Beatty

The smell of cinnamon. The color orange. Coffee. Fresh bread. Low ceilings with dark, oak beams. 

Roger Burks

For me, warmth is togetherness. Shelter in family & friends. A feeling that, no matter what else is happening or what troubles await, that particular moment is safe, sacred & shareable. It's a sense of care that endures. […]

Tina Knuth

As a homeless single teen mother in November of 1981, Friends shared an apartment. 5 adults and three children under age 4. We kept everyone fed (barely) and were warm for that winter. Life sucked badly, but the apartment became our stronghold for 6 months.

Kit

I grew up poor, our parents only let us turn the heat on when family visited on holidays. When I moved out I fell in love with cast iron radiators. They make strange noises and when I use them I get the sense my grandma is about to arrive for dinner.


“What reminds you of warmth?”



That was the question Neil Gaiman, posed to his twitter followers, hoping to crowdsource the best thoughts into a short poem to help the UNHCR with their appeal to help Syrian refugees survive the freezing winter, far from home.

Easy peasy. How hard could it be?
It was only ridiculously difficult, as it turned out.
The tweet went viral and Gaiman found himself facing twenty five thousand words worth of replies.
And from there, he wove a poem of beauty.
I quote it, in its entirety here.
via The Guardian


What You Need to be Warm by Neil Gaiman

A baked potato of a winter’s night to wrap your hands around or burn your mouth.
A blanket knitted by your mother’s cunning fingers. Or your grandmother’s.
A smile, a touch, trust, as you walk in from the snow
or return to it, the tips of your ears pricked pink and frozen.

The tink tink tink of iron radiators waking in an old house.
To surface from dreams in a bed, burrowed beneath blankets and comforters,
the change of state from cold to warm is all that matters, and you think
just one more minute snuggled here before you face the chill. Just one.

Places we slept as children: they warm us in the memory.
We travel to an inside from the outside. To the orange flames of the fireplace
or the wood burning in the stove. Breath-ice on the inside of windows,
to be scratched off with a fingernail, melted with a whole hand.

Frost on the ground that stays in the shadows, waiting for us.
Wear a scarf. Wear a coat. Wear a sweater. Wear socks. Wear thick gloves.
An infant as she sleeps between us. A tumble of dogs,
a kindle of cats and kittens. Come inside. You’re safe now.

A kettle boiling at the stove. Your family or friends are there. They smile.
Cocoa or chocolate, tea or coffee, soup or toddy, what you know you need.
A heat exchange, they give it to you, you take the mug
and start to thaw. While outside, for some of us, the journey began

as we walked away from our grandparents’ houses
away from the places we knew as children: changes of state and state and state,
to stumble across a stony desert, or to brave the deep waters,
while food and friends, home, a bed, even a blanket become just memories.

Sometimes it only takes a stranger, in a dark place,
to hold out a badly knitted scarf, to offer a kind word, to say
we have the right to be here, to make us warm in the coldest season.

You have the right to be here.


And here he is, narrating it …


So, on this Christmas day, I wish you all warmth!
I wish we be kinder, and more inclusive.
I wish we be more generous.
I pray that we start with the Man in the Mirror.
I pray for more warmth :)
And if you do need reminding, just look at the replies to Neil’s question.

Merry Christmas, all you warm and gorgeous people!
And a Happy New Year!


8


Ubi enim est thesaurus tuus, ibi est et cor tuum.

For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.

You’ve stood by me through thick and thin.
We’ve been through houses and hospitals and travails and travels around the world.
We finish each other’s thoughts and sentences, (much to Poo’s chagrin,)
I don’t know what I’d do without you.

To quote a silly old country song,

When my life is through,
And the Angels ask me to recall
The thrill of it all, then I will tell them
I remember you …

I love you,
I do,
more than I can tell you,
more than I ever did, eight years ago.


41

“So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not Ill-supplied but wasteful of it.”
[…]
All things that are still to come lie in uncertainty; live straightway!”
― Lucius Annæus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

Thank you, for sharing my journey with me!

P.S. Get your friends subscribe to the newsletter!


Happy Birthday Abbygail

Click the pic for a larger one


Love looks pretty on you.
Makes you soft, tender, proud.
Makes you sit up and take notice.
Gives you a home to set down your things.


What a blessing it is, to have music and dancing and poetry.
What a gift it is, to look at someone and say,
I’m so happy to have found you
at last, at last, at long, long last
you’re here.

Lang Leav

It has also been a blessing to walk by your side, sharing our lives.
It’s hard to think of me, without you anymore.
Like Leav writes, “Every time I see my name, I hear it in your voice.”
Happy Birthday, my heart!
I love you.


A Eulogy for Nana


Abby lost her grandmother this week.
This is her eulogy to her.

She was Aunty Matty to other people, mummy to her children and countless other fond names to who knew her.

But she was my Nana.

I have memories of her cradling me, and taking care of me as a baby.
Vacations at Nana’s were the highlight of my childhood years.
She was a tireless, hard working woman who raised her large family to the best of her abilities.
And not just her family, but also (to me it seemed) the whole neighbourhood.
She was loved and appreciated, just by about everyone whose life she touched.

As the years flew by, Nana seemed very out of place.
In our fast paced, always connected, no time for any one age, Nana was a slow, deliberate, thoughtful, kind, gentle and gracious woman, like someone from a different, more altruistic age.

And it was here in her shadow years, while i was grew up and was beginning to work and could make my own trips to see her, that i really began to see her for the strong willed, tireless, hard working that she was, beyond just my nana who cossetted me and made me nice things.

And after all these years, the only theme i see that has rung true throughout Nana’s life was, Nana was there.

  • when i was a young bawling baby, Nana was there.
  • throughout my growing up years, Nana was there.
  • to cook me what my heart desired, Nana was there.
  • for everyone in her life, Nana was there.
  • to crack jokes and lighten up any room, Nana was there.
  • to empathise and have a compassionate ear to whatever was ailing you, Nana was there.
  • to gently, yet firmly correct you, Nana was there.
  • to remember you on your birthdays and anniversaries, Nana was there.
  • to worry about you and pick you up when you were down, Nana was there.

Since the day before, when Nana left us, I feel distraught and left alone, that Nana wasn’t there.
And yet, as i read this little note, i realise that this is not quite true.
Like the Little Prince tells the author,

I cannot carry this body with me. It is too heavy.
But it will be like an old abandoned shell.
There is nothing sad about old shells …

Nana was in pain, and she moved on beyond her body to her rest.
But that does not mean, she isn’t there anymore.
I will always carry Nana with me.
We all do.
Nana is here.