Life moves forward in recognizable sequence and one day leads into another as we relax into the expectation of forever. We'll do this forever, we'll love them forever, we'll be here forever.
I know better and I expect you know better, but it is comforting to anticipate familiarity. It is easy to forget that life holds changes of any kind, let alone sudden changes.
Evidence of how quickly things can change abound for everyone since that September day two years ago, yet we still have settled back into complacency. But community life, family life, individual life can change in a heartbeat.
First in Virginia Beach, now in Chesapeake, today's community focus takes us back a year when our nation's capital centered on one continuing event - snipers. What better example of the possibility of close-up, personal, sudden change do we have? The expectation of sudden change we found out, changes our behavior.
It can be a good thing to consciously change our behavior. Not only do we become more safety conscious when we know danger is afoot, but we become more aware of how precious our loved ones are to us. Quickly, we know those we really love - they are the ones who jump into our concern when we fear for their safety.
My mother broke her hip recently, just days after moving into a lovely, assisted-living apartment. 'Who would ever think,' she said, 'that one fall and life is over.' While that, thankfully, is not true, I know what she means. If she cannot learn to walk again, life as she knew it is over.
If we keep in mind the sudden changes that
can change anything, sometimes everything,
in an instant, we will indeed give thanks-
My granddaughter's beloved uncle Charlie just suffered a massive stroke and passed within the week. I will drive down to Wilmington with my husband Terry, who is Charlie's age, and pay respects to this good man who died decades too early. Sympathy and sorrow will share my consciousness with gratitude for my own blessings.
We are in the month when we give thanks for all the constants in our lives. If we keep in mind the sudden changes that can change anything, sometimes everything, in an instant, we will indeed give thanks - for much more than a big turkey dinner.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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