This was my Great Aunt Annette, classically captured by my mother. Annette was my grandfather’s sister.  She was a well regarded art teacher, a painter, a single mother of two sons, and a proud grandmother.

I was so happy to come across this picture tonight. I have thought of her many times over these past few months, as I have been writing this gratitude journal. Here’s why…

One Thanksgiving when Annette was quite old, my family and I sat around the dinner table about to enjoy a beautifully prepared feast. My father had the idea that we should go around the table, each of us sharing something for which we were grateful. As you might expect, everyone kept to a theme of family, of our good fortune to have one another (…a beautiful home, wonderful food…yada, yada). I am quite sure a few of us got sappy and weepy, as Harveys are known to do.

Then we got to Great Aunt Annette…

The table got quiet as we all seemed to collectively lean forward, not wanting to miss a word of what was sure to be a sage bit of wisdom. She thought for a moment, and in her shaky little-old-lady voice she said,

“I am thankful for the yellow lines in the road that help me to stay in the proper lane.”

(Amen.)

With that, she picked up her fork and began to eat.

We all giggled.  I remember my father especially, getting the biggest kick out of that remark.

Aunt Annette loved her family, and I am sure she was feeling just as grateful as the rest of us to be sharing good company, good food and good cheer on that November afternoon. I don’t think her response was the result of her really having to dig deeply to think of something for which she was grateful.

I like to think, instead, that she had gotten to a point in her life when she really did notice and appreciate the little things that made her world feel safe, and comfortable…and that happened to include the yellow lines on the road. 

(Either that, or she was just messing with us.)

 

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