The Blessing of Gathering

There are many things I am grateful for during this Covid-19 pandemic. One of them is Sunday dinner with my family. Sunday dinners have been a tradition with my husband’s parents, who are also our neighbors. My mother-in-law, Diane, and I coordinate contributions to the meal. Since quarantine began, each week a different family member shares a spiritual thought. We then partake of the sacrament.

Today I was moved by the message my father-in-law, Richard, shared. He explained that there are two keys to life. 1) Be happy. 2) Be grateful. “Gratitude is the first step toward being happy. The gospel of Jesus Christ is one of hope and optimism. Look for the good in things.” Dick then shared a favorite poem by B.J. Gallagher;


“Any day I’m vertical
is a good day”
…that’s what I always say.

If you ask me,
“How are you?”

I’ll answer, “GREAT!” 
because in saying so, 
I make it so.

When Life gives me dark clouds and rain, 
I appreciate the moisture 
that brings a soft curl to my hair.

When Life gives me sunshine, 
I gratefully turn my face up 
to feel its warmth on my cheeks.

When Life brings fog, 
I hug my sweater around me 
and give thanks for the cool shroud of mystery 
that makes the familiar seem different and intriguing.

When Life brings snow, 
I dash outside to catch the first flakes on my tongue, 
relishing the icy miracle that is a snowflake.

Life’s events and experiences 
are like the weather – 
they come and go, 
no matter what my preference.

So, what the heck?!
I might as well decide to enjoy them.

For indeed, 
there IS a time for every purpose 
under Heaven.

And each season brings its own unique blessings.

Dick concluded, “We should be grateful for life, always making the most of it. That will lead to happiness, if we are faithful to the commandments of God.”

How lucky my children are to hear words of wisdom and testimony from their grandfather, who is now 80 years old. When this pandemic is long gone, I hope our quarantine dinners will be a special memory for us. Whatever ways you are able to connect with your loved ones, may you be be blessed and strengthened as you gather in faith.

Faithfully yours,