Gratitude, On Shuffle

    I walk to work most days.  Tees-n-Tops is only about five blocks from our home, so when the weather is decent I hoof it.  Takes maybe 10-15 minutes.  There is just enough time for me to think.  Some days it's a good thing.  Tuesday last week was one of those days.

     I like listening to a little music on my way down Hancock Ave.  Tuesday morning I hit shuffle and as if on cue, the Goo Goo Dolls started singing "Better Days".  The past few years I have been wondering every time this song played, will there be "Better Days"?  For the first time in years, the answer is clear.  THESE ARE "BETTER DAYS".


"And you ask me what I want this year

And I try to make this kind and clear

Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings

And designer love and empty things

Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days"


    Through everything that has gone on here, all that has transpired, we are finally living in "Better Days".  There was a time when I didn't believe this was possible again, but we made the trip to Los Angeles, got to vacation again in the Outer Banks.  Ellen is feeling better.  She still deals with daily reminders of what Gastric Cancer does to the human body, but "Better Days" currently outnumber bad ones, and we will take that.  When I left for work on Tuesday I had just published Kayla Banwarth and Kelsey Robinson's "Five Questions" and Kristin Carpenter had just sent me great answers for another one.  All these things had conspired to put a spring in my step as I made my way down the hill towards Custer Ave.  


"I need someplace simple where we could live

And something only you can give

And that’s faith and trust and peace while we're alive

And the one poor child who saved this world

And there's 10 million more who probably could

If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them"


     I made the turn onto Washington Ave as the words washed over me, and I began to cry.  Have I been thankful for all that is good, all that is right, right now?  I prayed on many days for these "Better Days" and now, in a moment’s realization, it was time again to be thankful, be grateful, and appreciate how good things are right now.  I mean, is there a time that matters more than right now?  Is there much sense continuing to stress about forces I can't see or control?  No, so Tuesday, thanks to a reminder from my shuffle play dialing up the perfect song, I want to say thanks.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, stood with us, cried with us and loved us.  

Thank you to my co-workers who have put up with my sketchy schedule and my even sketchier emotional state.

Thank you to Kiski Area Volleyball, players, parents, students, and fans.  Your support has meant so much to us.

Thank you to all the participants of "Five Questions".  You have allowed me to feel good about something I am becoming increasingly passionate about.  It has been such an honor having the access you all have granted me.

Lastly, Thank you to the most courageous, most steady, funniest, and the only person I know who has no stomach and more "guts" than anyone else.  Ellen Toy, I am so thankful for you!


     The last thing I want to get with this blog is preachy, I mean, I have no right.  Here is the simple truth.  Saying "Thank you" more often can only be a good thing.  The world needs more gratitude, and it can't wait for a good song to remind us.  


"So take these words

And sing out loud

Cause everyone is forgiven now

Cause tonight's the night the world begins again"