When you reach a certain age, you sometimes have years that are full of bad news, bad health, and bad luck. But by this point in life, you also know to take the bad with the good – it makes you appreciate the bright spots all the more!
Below we’ve asked seven seniors, all of whom have recently hit some rough patches, what they are most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here’s what they had to say:
“I’m very thankful for my family and friends. I have a very close relationship with several friends from church. We travel together, check on each other, laugh and cry together, and are very close. As we are all single and retired, we are available to take each other to doctors’ appointments when necessary, to the airport, or anywhere else that’s needed. That way we don’t have to impose on our working children and grandchildren.”
Alice, who fell last Christmas, was recovering from a concussion for a good part of the year. Despite having to take it easy for a while, she never let it get her down and has resumed her active lifestyle.
“After becoming a widow, I am glad that I have found a new path on my journey, which makes me more empowered, stronger, and less dependent on others. This is due to my good health, optimistic outlook, and the company of very fine friends for which I am very thankful.”
After Claire’s husband passed away two years ago, her positive outlook has allowed her to start a new chapter.
“I am thankful for my good health, my husband, sons, grandchildren, siblings, and wonderful friends!”
Nancy’s husband, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over a year ago, recently suffered a stroke. Also losing two dogs this year, she adopted a new pup named Oliver, who has been a wonderful outlet for her as she’s cared for her husband.
“I am extremely thankful for my life partner, my two daughters and sons-in-law, two grandchildren, extended family, friends and community, doctors, dentists, pharmacists … and many others. I am thankful God chose to give me a second chance in 2015. With the help of many loving and generous people, I survived and am here to write this story.”
Pat, who has COPD and experienced respiratory failure four years ago, ended up in the hospital again at the beginning of this year. Her will to live – and support of her loved ones – helped pull her through yet again!
“Most importantly (especially as I age), I am thankful for my good health and strong genes passed to me by my parents. I truly understand that without it, many other things in life cannot be enjoyed to the fullest. I am also appreciative that my good health and strength have allowed me to help other people for whom I care and love.” Martha is thankful for many other things, including her faith, her education, her love of books, and finally her yard, which gives her great joy and allows her to express herself.
Martha, who is Pat’s life partner, lovingly cared for her during her illnesses.
“After recently surviving a mild stroke, I am so thankful for the wonderful medical staff and therapists who have been there every step of the way overseeing my improvements and dramatic recovery. But most importantly, I thank God for the love and support of my wife, children, grandchildren, family, and friends. They are what makes the hard work of recovery worthwhile!”
After many months of therapy, Tom is walking, driving and even doing some yardwork. He’s still working hard, so that he can get back on the boat and fish again next summer.
“Like Tom, I am so very thankful for all those named in his comments, whose love and support got us through the darkest part of this journey. I am thankful beyond measure that we still have him! But we also have to thank God our Father, whose comfort and peace have surrounded us during the past five months!”
Linda, who is Tom’s wife, has been his devoted caregiver and cheerleader throughout his stroke recovery.