On Thanksgiving I grumbled to myself, forgetting gratitude, confined to the limited latitudes of my own small world.  The evening was planned, but the day? I thought to take it for myself. Why share it with anyone else? My lips were pursed, as if I’d suckled a sour lemon. And, then, my friend, Linda, stopped by, her car parked outside my gate. My dog leaped at the fence, eager for her touch. Linda handed me a small rose. “Here,” she said, “this one’s for you.” Then she handed me another rose, the color of sunset, and said, “And I want you to give this one to your mom.”

Linda, in her straightforwardness, her way of striding in life and straddling great challenges, gently took the lines I had drawn around myself and pried them apart. The rose petals and scent took me to my mother, who smiled in gratitude.