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Six hours ago, I turned seventy-two, so I am planning a long-weekend Gratitude Party.

I will start my seventy-third year by hearing Jane Pauley talk about her new book, Your Life Calling: Re-imagining The Rest of Your Life , at a luncheon at the Union League Club. An appropriate title for a birthday celebration, agree?

Soon after I get home, my son and daughter-in-law will arrive from O’Hare. They are flying in for “mom’s” long-weekend party. They are the parents of my three young-adult grandkids.

My daughter, also living out-of-town, added money to my Caribou Coffee gift card. She knows I hang out at Caribou to write, so she keeps me supplied with Northern Lite Caramel Decafs, Medium. She and my son-in-law are the parents of my two toddler grandkids.

My husband, as always, gifts me everyday as he buys our groceries, makes me dinner, scrubs the floors, washes the cars, pays the bills… You get the picture. He will have a meal off when we celebrate this weekend at my favorite steak place, Gibsons on Rush.

After a month on Lyrica, I’m thankful that my year-long sensations of itching are a tad better. I’m relieved, at last, to know these pain-producing “pins and needles” are caused by hypersensitive nerve endings related to my having fibromyalgia.

I’m also thankful, after a forty-year nursing career, that  I’m able to enjoy the freedom of retirement. I have been blessed with seventy-two years of a life full of (mostly) good things. And given grace to endure the not-so-good things.

I’m grateful that readers like you stop in to see what I have to say. I pray your weekend holds a reason or more for you to have a gratitude party too. If your party happens to include a stop at the Bean in Chicago’s Millennium Park, I’ll wave to you from my window!

The Bean (Cloudgate)

The Bean (Cloudgate) at Millennium Park, Chicago

I leave you with my favorite verse: I hope it brings you as much solace as it does me:

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

Source: Matthew 5 in The Message