Nov 22

Remembering Gratitude

The week of Thanksgiving is one of my favorites each year. Thursday is transformed from its typical workweek drab into a day of feasting, family, friends – and football.

Dominoes with Jeff

Many of us will pause from our labors to gather around tables laden with childhood favorites. We’ll cook together, enjoy a midday glass or two of wine, Zoom with relatives and perhaps wager on the big game. Some will plan their shopping routes to grab the best Black Friday deals, while others will stage boxes of holiday decorations in anticipation of the next day’s annual trip to a Christmas tree farm or corner lot down the street.

I always appreciate the opportunity of the extra-long weekend before the headlong tumble into the breathlessness of December to take time for reflection and gratitude.

We are now 21 months into the pandemic. The hope and joy I felt last December as my team worked with the Ford Airport on an appropriate media sendoff to the first COVID-19 vaccines have dimmed as cases in Michigan spike – again

Purse Party 2021

Still, there is much to be grateful for this year:

  • Family: The pandemic has given many of us the opportunity to work from home, translating into the benefit of more time with family. I so appreciate the gift of time with my husband, Jeff, who often gets the short end of the proverbial stick when client demands interrupt our evenings and weekends. I’ve enjoyed the chance to stay connected to family, mine and Jeff’s, despite the miles. And I’m especially thankful for the upcoming opportunity to celebrate the December wedding of my stepson, Alex, and to welcome Allie as our official daughter-in-law.
  • Friends: I’m grateful for my wonderful circle of friends, who stay connected, engaged and supportive despite time and distance. The loss of my younger brother, Stephen, this summer brought a tremendous groundswell of love and kindness from so many corners of my life. I was overjoyed to visit Memphis this spring and hug my best friend, Anthony, as well as snatch some pure Michigan long weekends with dear friends Phil and Theresa. Looking forward to my booster shot so I can continue to travel safely.

Up North wine tasting with Theresa and Phil

  • Community: I am thankful to be a part of this wonderful West Michigan community, which rallies magnificently when the need arises. Last week, many of my favorite women gathered to kick off this year’s Purse Project, donations of gently used purses filled with necessities for women at Mel Trotter Ministries experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence. We also gathered backpacks for men in Guiding Light’s addiction recovery program, pajamas for women at Degage Ministries and – new this year – fun pillowcases for kids in the NICU at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. (Commercial: If you’re interested in donating, there’s a community drop-off Dec. 7.)
  • Colleagues: I so appreciate the wonderful team at Sabo PR, who continue to do incredible work for our growing number of clients despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. One of our clients told me last week she always feels like our only client – even though she knows that’s not true. That’s very intentional on our part, but not easy. This year, we’ve tried to be intentional each month and take time to gather as a team and set aside our screens. From an evening at the John Ball Zoo to walks through Meijer Gardens and ArtPrize to an afternoon painting lesson with the talented Wesley DeVries, we’ve explored West Michigan – and recharged our batteries.

Team painting with Wes DeVries

As we head into the holiday sprint, know your presence in our lives is a treasured gift on many levels. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Sabo PR.

5 thoughts on “Remembering Gratitude”

  1. Wallson Knack says:

    You say it so well. You and your associates pay special attention to your clients, but also to the people around you, continues to bring joy and happiness during these unusual times. One can never have too many friends—so keep adding ❗️Wally

    1. Mary Ann says:

      Thanks, Wally — and you are so right re: friends! Grateful to count you and Becky among my dearest. Mary Ann

  2. Robin Keith says:

    Such a beautiful post about gratitude. During this pandemic, that has been, at times, in very short supply. Thanks for the reminder, my friend.

    1. Mary Ann says:

      Robin, I remain so very grateful for you and your friendship and support over all these years. It was such a joy to HUG you in person last week, enjoy lunch and catch up a bit. I look forward to more conversations, more laughter and more stories in the decades ahead.

  3. Denise Kolesar says:

    Always a great read, Mary Ann. You are a West Michigan treasure on so many levels.

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