Gratitude Monday: Little Brother and such

Last week a 36 year-old colleague passed away.  She had a severe asthma attack.  Of course I knew asthma can kill. But for me, that was just in theory. I had asthma as a young adult.  My youngest brother, John, had asthma. My asthma was relatively mild. I had the horrible sensation of being able to breathe good air in, but unable to push the bad air out. For John, it was life-threatening.  We rushed my little brother to the hospital many times. [tweetthis] Although these were trips filled with dread, he always recovered.[/tweetthis]  Not so for Anne. She left behind a young daughter, a husband, and many people who loved her dearly.  I am happy to know Anne, if only for a brief time.

John & Jude at Crandell Christmas, 2013 (Allison & Jesse’s house
John and his grand-nephew, Jude.

I suppose it’s only natural that Anne’s death fills me gratitude that I still have my brother.  She reminds me that happy endings don’t always happen.  John is 14 years younger than me in years. Yet, we are so close in ideas, humor, and spirituality.  I am so thankful he had the chance to grow up into such a wonderful friend.

Here are a few more things on my gratitude list:

A nearby beach. One last day in the sun before school starts.

Amtrak reduced rates for seniors and people with disabilities.  CoCo is going to visit her grandmother, my Mom.  We’ll travel via Metra (again reduced fare!) and shell travel on via Amtrak.  Without government subsidies, that might not be possible.

The Olympic coverage. I’m learning about so many sports I rarely, if ever see.  This weekend I watched golf with Mr. R1.  We marveled at the commentator whispering, “I thought the ball would drop-drunk into the hole.” How colorful.  I wondered what the strategy might be for sprinters.  Don’t they just run as fast as they can? And synchronized swimming:  Holy Cow! Those women traverse the pool three times, without touching the bottom, and we never see them sweat.


Generous writers. Tomorrow, the speculative author, Clayton Smith, will join my book club.  I can hardly sit still in anticipation. He’s the author of Anomaly Flats, and Apocalyption. Funny and creepy at the same time. His books, not Clayton. Well, Clayton is funny.

Photo courtesy of Clayton Smith and Emily Rose Studios
Photo courtesy of Clayton Smith and Emily Rose Studios


What’s on your gratitude list this week?  Please share.  When you do, you so often remind me of others things for which I’m, too, am grateful.