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Gratitude - Life Lesson

In: English and Literature

Submitted By perv
Words 915
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Appreciation and Gratitude – Life Lesson
Finally, after so many years I am on my way home, “second” home after my parents’. I feel very excited, as it is not just a house that I used to rent, but a “magic” place, where being away from my parents I could experience home comfort. I haven’t been there for about five years since I graduated from University, and I miss it a lot. This time is going to be a short stay, for only a few days, but I am glad I can spend it there. That place made my school time enjoyable, and the landlady Maria treated me like her own granddaughter. She was a lovely and a very kind-hearted person and could cheer me up when I needed it most. All my friends and I loved her because of her young and vibrant mind with a trusting spirit. Despite of her age, she remained a very beautiful creature; her blue eyes and warm smile could make anyone feel welcome. With the snow-white hair she was almost like an angel. Her house itself was very charming although not fashionable; it was more like country style. Wooden furniture made from logs and twigs, roughly cut and sawn with no ornate, looked very simple and straight. I loved the kitchen with its old open-shelved dresser, wooden draining racks for plates above the sink, and the big wooden table decorated with dried flowers. The handmade wool rugs on the floor and the linen curtain on the windows reflected in warmth and cosiness. She surrounded herself with the things she loved. Each item in the house had a story and had been created, or collected, and displayed with love and passion. Her house was the perfect place on the Earth to be on a cold winter’s night. I remember myself sitting by the wooden fire oven, chatting with my friends and Maria about anything, and drinking something warm and delicious. These moments have become one of the most memorable since I was a student.
Now, I am heading towards the small town where I used to live for more than five years. It is frosty outside, but I can’t really feel it. My heart is beating like a jungle drum, and I can’t wait to see Maria. She is probably the same person: kind and lovingly, as I can remember her. She means a lot to me, and I feel sad that I couldn’t visit her all those years. She wrote me a letter three months ago saying how happy she would be to see me again. This makes me more excited as I haven’t told her about my visit.
I am almost there, walking through the piles of snow; her lovely house still beautiful and cheerful. I “freeze” for a few seconds watching the gorgeous trees surrounding the house covered with snow, and the stunningly beautiful windows with frost flowers, like exceptionally talented artist drew them there. The snow path leading to the front door looks welcoming, and I smile thinking about her delighted face when she sees me. After a while I knock the door. To my great surprise it isn’t her who opens the door. I see a lovely looking young guy staying at the doorway. He smiles and offers me to come in. Then he introduces himself as Maria’s nephew. Almost immediately I start to get knots in the pit of my stomach because can feel that something is not right. A moment later he tells me that Maria passed away three days ago, and he just came from the funeral. My heart is bumping hard. I can’t breathe, and speak. I just break down in tears. I can’t believe Maria is gone. She was my friend, my teacher, my hero, my biggest support; she was all beautifully combined in one person. For the next few days I am not able to sleep, eat, or do anything, except wondering around the house and thinking. I feel deeply sorry for not being there for her where she needed me. I feel sorry that I never told her thank you for believing in me and being there for me when no one else was, and that I loved her and how much of an inspiration she was for me. I took her for granted like many of us do with their friends and loved ones assuming that they will always be here for us. And then, when the inevitable finally does happen and our loved ones are gone, we begin to grieve and miss them deeply.
Perhaps we need to start missing our loved ones now, before they are gone. We need to express our gratitude for having them in our lives and demonstrate our love for them while they are still here. We have to stop waiting until it is too late to tell how much they mean to us. Constantly we hear phrases such as, “You should appreciate people while they’re here because they are not promised tomorrow,” “Never go to bed angry,” and “Don’t take people for granted.” But we never fully pay attention to the truth behind those statements until we are forced into that kind of situation. Why do people wait until loved ones are gone to wake up and realize how important and special those people were to us? Is it really due to the age old saying that “You never miss what you had until it’s gone.”

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