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Finding gratitude


Jimmie Batchelor Guest Columnist

  Several weeks ago, I attended a fish-fry gathering at Lake Lanier with my Chamblee High School classmates of 1966. Not an official reunion, but our second get-together this year. We have stayed close and these type mini-reunions help us remain that way.

  The man that was our senior class president way back then was busy frying up hush puppies when I arrived. Brad, “the man,” and his wife, Melanie, also a classmate, just finished a very grueling year standing by one of their daughters, Julie, as she battled a brain tumor. Melanie kept everyone up to date on this daily struggle which thankfully is hopefully over. No sign of cancer at last checkup in Houston, TX. They will have a special Thanksgiving this year.

  When I arrived and walked up to Brad, I told him how grateful and happy I was for his family. He simply said, “Everyone has their story.”

  Being a writer, I so love hearing the stories of others. I think about all the people in our world and all those stories we will never know. I can’t get around to everyone, but I want to! Knowing that I cannot possibly do that, not even within my small limited area of life, is a frustration. I will have to learn to live with this knowledge!

  Do you remember Dr. Suess books? You may still have some hanging around like I do. One of his stories brought to television that I remember had a view of the world as the camera zoomed in to the character in his small little city. That is what I feel like sometimes. Think for a minute you are going out into the universe and how your world gets smaller and smaller. We are just tiny specks on this planet! Important, you bet we are! Every single one of us. We are all together in this life whether we stop to think of that and accept it or not. Our world would definitely be a much better place if everyone did realize that.

  Each human on this earth has their story. They have their sorrows, triumphs, celebrations, defeats, loves, losses; I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

  We each have our problems and somehow move through them. Sometimes not easily. I keep seeing Aimee Copeland on the news and her triumphant recuperation from the devastation a flesh eating bacteria wrought her. A fun outing turned into the unthinkable. Her gift to us is to see that the human being can overcome impossible odds. She has given to so many that were drowning in their grief and sorrow. She has the internal gift of love and hope. Surely she had her moments of despair, who wouldn’t. But she hasn’t shown that to the world and so many have profited from her strength. Have you heard the quote, “Give the best you have to the world, and the best will come back to you.”? It is one of my favorites. Aimee is a visible example of this quote. People love her for showing them this strength, who could not? She will never know how many she has helped.

  Imagine all the stories there are in the universe, unwritten, left to discover? This thought reminds me of bookstores and libraries with so many books, though not nearly as many as have been written. Life is too short to read them all! Saddens me. Another impossible.

  Getting back on track here, all those untold stories out there. Out of our life experience, all of us have something or maybe many things, we should be thankful for. Just being, for one. Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and, not that we shouldn’t be thankful every single day, let us concentrate on the good things in our lives. Let go of even for just that day, the forces outside of your control that pull you down. Live in that day and have gratitude for every single sunrise you greet, the friends and family around you, and find hope for a better day for all of us. Thank each of you for being you.


 Jimmie and her family have lived in Stockbridge for 35 years. She is the Lead Activities Coordinator at Hidden Valley Senior Center.




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