5 Things I’m Most Grateful For

Have you faced death, and then lived? It’s a wonderful, wonderful experience, but not one I’d wish for you.

Yesterday I celebrated being Cancer Free for 5 years with red velvet cupcakes from Costco and coffee made just the way I like it. Life is good…so good.

Feeling emotional, I was determined to let all that was in my heart pour out onto the page. That’s what I call therapy, but there was too much in my heart.  I couldn’t express myself. Hmmm …a writer without words. Can’t have that. So,  I decided to list everything I was grateful for. Screw grammar –  just get the ideas out. Again…couldn’t do it. Hmmm.  Finally, I decided to make a list of the top things I’m grateful for. (Warning: on the sappy side.)

I am most grateful for my:

  1. Children and grandchildren who I cherish.
  2. Husband who stood by me in the darkest of hours, and every day makes me feel loved beyond measure.
  3. Siblings who may live far away, but are always close in my heart.
  4. Friends who bring me companionship and joy.
  5. Writing that lets me, be me.

The ‘writer me’ says I’ve left too much out, but the ‘cerebral me’ says you got the gist of it. So maybe I’ll settle for my little list, for now, and revisit it later.

The ‘pain in the ass – won’t keep her mouth shut me’ says, “Wait a minute. What happened to God and things?” Indeed, what happened? I stopped and thought about that. They didn’t make the list.

My experience of God is embedded in the love of all five. And things, well they don’t fit in this list. Don’t get me wrong, I like things, but they don’t fit on this list.

Five years ago I promised myself if I got a second chance in life I’d do a better job of it, put relationships first and remember that life is all about love. I wanted to have everything I did reflect my beliefs.  I changed a lot of things in my life, but sometimes I  stray from my promise and get caught up in things that really don’t matter. (Twitter anyone?)

My plan for the next five is to keep working on my promise.  But as imperfect as I am, I am ever so thankful to be alive. I feel blessed.


What’s on your Grateful 5 list? Any thoughts?

Note: The picture is the view I have on my daily walk.

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

16 thoughts on “5 Things I’m Most Grateful For”

  1. Jo Ann,
    High five slapping, happy dancing, cartwheel turning congrats on your five years. Your list is perfect and God’s love shows in each of your choices. I know this because you are me, just a year ahead in experience. And you are so right, though I wouldn’t wish the breast cancer experience on anyone, there are definite benefits to looking mortality in the eye, and surviving to put what you’ve learned into practice. Living like you were dying is the only way to go.


  2. Jo-Ann
    My five things: My husband, children, grandchildren, friends and each day I’m alive.
    I truly life is a journey. We are here only for a short time. The people who stick by us through our dark times are life’s precious jewels. Some people leave this world never received such gifts. You are blessed to have found so many. Congrats on the five years! I love the picture!
    Diane Kratz


    1. Kim
      Life is short, and I am blessed.
      Your “special five” sound mighty nice too. I like how you call them “precious jewels”. So true. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.
      Best Wishes
      Sailboats, snow capped coastal mountains and ocean…I love the view.


  3. Uhmmm… read your comments and it gave me pause for thought…. in 1994 I had a near brush with death as well! As I think about it, over the years and during my career with DFO I had several brushes with death but many of those I never gave a second thought as they were of the thrilling types of brushes, you know the brush strokes that add colour and flavour to your personal canvas. Many have not been shared with others as they are my personal strokes that I now reflect on and say “oh man I was lucky” but it was thrilling. In 1994 it was the closest, after the event I was asked, “did you change any thing because of the incident, did the event cause you to re-evaluate?”. My response was “no”. I still do not think I made any dramatic decisions or made any major changes but subconsciously I must have made several minor changes. One minor change I did consciously make was to reflect on a person’s hand shake and my own hand shake – was it sincere, was the hand warm and firm, cold wet and clammy, loose and slimmy or was it just not committed – on reflection I think your eyes and your hands are a reflection of you. Next time you shake a person’s hand, look in their eyes and feels the hand as you greet each other, ask yourself what message you are conveying when you greet and what the greeting felt like!

    Some much for my poor grammar and rambling thoughts.




    1. Hi Bryan
      I love how you refer to many of your close brushes with death as, “the brush strokes that add colour and flavour to your personal canvas.” Indeed they do. I’d love to hear more about them.
      Your comments about handshakes blew me away. I never stopped to think about them, but I see what you’re saying. My check for what I call “real people” has always been the clarity in their eyes, but handshakes are even more personal.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
      I’m going to be careful when I shake your hand:)
      Best Wishes


    1. Prudence
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wise vision. I agree…everything flows from those five.
      Best Wishes


  4. Congratulations, Jo-Ann. Celebrate, celebrate and pat yourself on the back for making changes. Regardless of our situations, pains, losses, etc., we know inside when we need to make adjustments to change how we live. My mother’s been gone eight years now (which surprises me to write that), and I’ve looked at life differently since she died. I’m very conscious of the time slippping buy. That’s increased with the addition of our 3 grands. Interestingly, that results in a paradox. I’m more laid back and able to “play” with those grands in ways I never did with my girls. But I’m more driven to accomplish, becuase who knows how long I’ll be healthy enough to do all I yet want to do.
    Thanks for this thought provoking post and blessings on you for tons more healthy years. 🙂


    1. Marsha
      I’m sorry for your loss.
      I know what you mean about time slipping by. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying desperately to hold onto it, while it runs through my hands like fine jewels sparkling in the sunshine. I hear the universe laughing at me.
      I too find great solace in being with my grands. They make me smile, and laugh and feel young again. And like you, they slow me down and help me enjoy every moment.
      We are so lucky.
      Thank you for your well wishes, and for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and experiences. You are a generous friend.
      Best Wishes


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