Guest blogger: Katie Poole, Content QC Specialist, 11/19/09

year around Thanksgiving, I give thanks for life and health.  Perhaps it is just the season – or perhaps it

could be that my birthday falls around Thanksgiving and
Katie hence I am prone to
reflect on the blessing of anot
her year of life.  Or perhaps it is because, like so many  life lessons, I learned to give thanks for
health from my parents.


the time I was born, my mother's health was declining.  Stricken with both diabetes and rheumatoid
arthritis, she exhibited grace in the midst of what must have been very painful
days.  Unselfishly, she taught me to bake
chocolate chip cookies, despite the fact that she could have none herself. One
of my greatest pleasures as I was growing up was playing the piano.  As I observed my mother's hands, gnarled and
crippled from the rheumatoid arthritis, I often wondered if that would also be
my fate.  Would I be able to play piano
when I grew up?  Or would I, too, lose
mobility and strength in my

grace,  I still enjoy playing the piano,
primarily when I can accompany other musicians. 
Most recently, I've had the opportunity to play at my daughter's high
school for the chorus.  Many times when I
am playing, I am grateful simply for the grace of health in my hands.
father used to say "When you have your health, you have everything,"
meaning, I think,
that no matter what setbacks you may experience, if you have
your health,
Howard's Shed 01you can work your way out of them. 
enjoyed vigorously good health into his 80's – here you can see him
building a shed for
our property at age 81!  His health has

declined a bit now, but his words still ring true.

so, when I'm tempted to grumble about stacking one more cord of wood, or
shoveling the driveway one more time, I'm reminded that these are things that
my mother couldn't have done. I give thanks for a strong, reasonably healthy
body – and for another year o
f life that I have been given.

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