I am grateful for many things, even those that are too small, too common, that sometimes get unnoticed.
I am grateful for breakfast on the table.
I am grateful for green lights and parking spaces, especially when I am running late.
The reliable umbrella, my savior from sun and rain.
A full tank, it makes me feel I am going somewhere, and back again.
A safe touchdown, after an uneventful flight.
Maps and instruction manuals, they are antidotes to my ignorance.
Discounts, freebies and rebates, and extra cash just when I am short of resources.
I am grateful for alarms with snooze, remote controls and water heaters.
I am grateful for satiety, a night of good sleep, and gastrocolic reflex.
I am grateful for mucolytics, antihistamines, antacids and pills that ease pain.
I am grateful for sunshine, moon beam, and a little bit of rain.
I am grateful for the sight of my door at the end of my journey, telling me that at last I am home.
I am grateful for old friends, they remind me how good life was before.
Older friends, they teach me to be humble.
Younger friends, they remind me how wise I have grown.
I am grateful for birthdays.
I am grateful for my family: we may have our ups and downs, but in a world where many have none, I am too grateful that I grew up in a loving family that taught me the virtues of humility, generosity, kindness and honesty.
I am grateful for the immensity of memories.
Memories, made up of tiny segments of moments that are intricately woven into my bloodstream.
I am grateful for the specter of memories that little by little I may somehow soon forget like sand sifting in my hands, memories that I hope to hold on to and to cherish for the rest of my life, or for as long as I can.
Memories of innocence and humble beginnings.
Memories of tall trees, fireflies, rivers, oceans, bridges, rugged roads, farms and carabaos.
Memories of dreams, memories of games and battles fought, memories of victory and of defeat.
Memories of reckless youth, of getting drunk, of songs, dances, and fleeting romances.
Memories of meeting people for the first time, not knowing what the future had in store for us.
Memories of meeting people for the last time, and the elusive hope of someday seeing each other again.
Memories of loved ones, of those who have come and gone, memories that make me laugh when I think of the times we cried together, memories that make me cry when I think of the times we laughed together.
On the other hand, I am also grateful for the comfort of forgetting.
The art of letting go, the bliss in moving on, knowing that everything will eventually be alright, after all.
I am grateful for options, solutions, reasons, answers and explanations - things that put sense and bring order to a world that has turned into a ball of confusion.
I am grateful for my teachers, mentors and critics.
I am grateful for a job well done, for words well said, and words left unsaid just to spare the feelings of a friend.
Music and smiles.
A helping hand and a pat on the back, just when I am about to break down.
A second chance, because everybody deserves one.
A spark of hope.
Sanity, serenity, enlightenment.
I am grateful for whatever respect I earned, and for all the lessons learned.
I am grateful for being part of the race: I may not finish first, but I am sure to get there, on my own gentle pace.
Come to think of it, I am grateful not for having things I want, but for having things I need.
I hope to be grateful, until the day I die.
And in being grateful, I thank God for making me understand why.
- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, MD
October 14, 2010