52 Weeks and An Invitation

Credit: Google Image Search

One of the gifts I was happiest about giving this holiday season was A Year of Gratitude set. It’s actually quite a simple gift…beautifully boxed, it’s basically 52 blank, folded cards and 52 envelopes. There is a small booklet enclosed with ideas on how to write a good card and another section to keep track of not only the things during the week/months to be grateful for but also to track the cards that have been sent.

The idea is that the recipient of the set writes one card a week to someone they’re grateful for… grateful in general or grateful for a specific action they’ve performed, either presently or at some earlier date.  (i.e. perhaps the card might be used to reconnect with an old acquaintance that affected the writer’s life in a positive way).  At the end of the year, assuming they’ve tracked all the cards they’ve sent and all the reasons they had to be grateful even if a card wasn’t sent for that specific thing, not only will they have a good list of positive experiences but hopefully a new, more grateful attitude that allows them to reach out to others and affect them in an encouraging way as well.

In a world with so much focus on the negative and just coming out of our own upheavals of the past couple years, this seems like something I need to be doing more of myself. Hence, a new focus on my blog is going to be Gratitude, though without the pretty cards and envelopes.

WEEK 1 –

My first gratitude post has to be for my parents – two people that have stuck by me no matter what. Even when I wasn’t the girly girl my mother was, or the most considerate of teenagers at times, and even when I knew everything about everything in my early 20s, they’ve been there every step of the way.

I could give you a million examples and then some of the ways they’ve helped us through things over the years but here are just a few….

  • My dad coming up to work in the rain and mud for days with my husband and older son the year the tree fell on our garage roof.
  • When I went into early labour with Son No. 1 but was medicated and sent home to “wait it out a bit,” to keep me from possibly being on my own without help at the precipitous moment, my mother stayed with us for 2 weeks making an otherwise trying time into memories that still make me laugh 28 years later.   
  • When I fainted while visiting my dad in hospital after his heart attack and he was more concerned trying to reassure me he was okay than worrying about his own immediate plight.
  • My mother rushing to the hospital when my son broke his leg. It wasn’t until we knew he wasn’t going to need surgery that she dared to breathe and looked down to notice that in her haste to get out of the house and to us at the hospital she’d put on shoes that didn’t match.
  • Or, the year we were in Maryland and our house in Pittsburgh flooded and knocked out the heat after a pipe break in the middle of winter. My parents not only discovered it (because they took it upon themselves to drive an hour each way every week or so and check things out for us), but my dad was the one who walked barefoot into that freezing water in the basement to try and stem the flow of the water.

It’s kind of funny actually how nearing the end of my 40s when I thought I was pretty much set to begin taking care of them as they aged, they’ve stepped up and been the rock we needed as my own little family has transitioned these past 2 years, probably even more than I ever knew they were capable of. They’re full of surprises…..creativity, willingness beyond measure, and of course long-term experience.

Instead of declining as I expected as they both moved past 70, they joined right in hefting boxes from place to place, driving trucks/cars full of stuff, making plans, and filling spaces we just couldn’t extend to ourselves in our physical and mental exhaustion – things like keeping our flagging spirits up at the worst of times, visiting often no matter which house we were in, being animated and full of ideas about decorating a new home, giving me a focus with the perfect photography project to get me excited about the new place, and helping to move things from room to room, building beds and desks, etc. till we got it all sorted. It’s made them not only much-loved as they were before, but invaluable tools in the arsenal we needed to allow us to come to our new place.


Suffice it to say, I’m grateful…I’ve been grateful for a long time, but it isn’t all the time that I say it so now I am. My mother’s constant refrain when I inadequately try and voice all this to her is, “Where else would we be?” I’m grateful and I love them not only for what they bring to us, but for what they allow us to bring to them. I was given a great gift in these two – a gift that is always present and keeps on giving. If I’m half what they are to me to my own children, I’ll have done very well indeed.


I’m inviting all of you to join me on this journey for one week or for the next 52 weeks.   If you do decide to join in with a post of your own, link back here so that I can come read your post as well.   Here’s to making a more positive 2016!

49 thoughts on “52 Weeks and An Invitation

  1. “Where else would we be”…A perfect response from any family or friend. You are blessed. I love the gratitude card idea. Happy New Year…it looks like you are off to a great start. ❤️


  2. Sometimes I wish WP had a *Love* button because I would be pressing it multiple times for this post.
    You don’t write very often, in favour of photos, but when you do, it’s beautifully said.

    I think the older we get, the more we appreciate the support, kindness, and generosity of spirit we get (or got) from our parents … at least the very lucky ones do who had a positive relationship with their parents.
    Obviously you are one of the very lucky ones and there’s no doubt in my mind you are and will be the same for your sons. You’ve had great role models ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a beautiful post, Torrie. Your parents sound truly wonderful and must be delighted to be appreciated, although it is evident that they have been motivated by selflessness and devotion to you. And it’s a true blessing to be able to appreciate, and be grateful for, the good things in one’s life. Very best wishes for the coming year.


    • Thank you, Anna. I do agree….it is a wonderful thing when you can look around and appreciate all the good things…as a matter of fact, I can’t think of too many things better than that. Good tidings to you on your side of the pond in the new year as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, parents should almost always be number one on the list when giving gratitude and it sounds like you have a great pair right there. The whole idea of giving cards seems terrific. A positive affirmation in writing.


  5. Your parents sound like a really great treasure, Torrie. I enjoyed reading about all the wonderful things they’ve done for you and your family over the years. You’ve written a lovely tribute to them to show your gratitude. I wish them good health, strength and happiness in the future. xx


    • Thank you so much, Sylvia…that’s what I wish for them too. I like your word choice with ‘treasure’….I don’t know why that didn’t come to mind when I was writing, but it really does sum it up perfectly!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this idea! You are right, that in a world with so much negativity it sure is nice to add a few positive notes (some literal) into the mix. What a great way to show our gratitude to those who show us kindness from small things to big. And I already adore your parents – just by reading this. You are blessed to have them, and them you.


  7. Emilio Pasquale says:

    Torrie, you seem to be a very lucky woman to have two parents as you describe them. What is even better is that they have a daughter like you who appreciates all they do!


  8. AGNES says:

    Beautiful expression of a trio of love. gratitude…..this year I daily think of three things I am grateful for and my young momma is one of them. So happy to have you in my life. a.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother’s b-day is tomorrow so I thought this was the perfect moment to post this one about them. Your b-day isn’t till April and you’ll probably find yourself on here in these posts by then (already had that in mind and am swirling my ideas around) but I’ll tell you now you’ve been a joy in my life since I’ve met you and you’ve helped me navigate this last move even from a distance. I’m grateful to you for so many things too, but most of all, just for being who you are and bringing so much joy to everyone you encounter.


  9. That’s a great post, I’m jealous of the relationship you have. It’s funny isn’t it, when we were young as in our teens, we though that people in their 70’s were ancient. Now however that our own parents have reached that age they don’t seem so old anymore, well one of mine doesn’t anyway.

    Whilst I know there are always things to be grateful for, sometimes it’s really hard to see them. I read a post of Trent’s yesterday that’s kinda the same, his is weekly smile. I make no promises, but rest assured, if I have something to be grateful for I will link back to you, because I am grateful for you 🙂


    • I had that same thought when I decided to do this “challenge”…that sometimes it’s very hard to find those things to be grateful for, but you know…..I think we’ll both be surprised once we learn how to take stock of even the smallest things….sometimes, that’s all it’s going to be but somehow it’s enough to get us through.

      Anyway, glad you made it over here today and even more impressed to see 2 posts from you in one day!


  10. What a wonderful post and such an excellent start to 2016! Great idea – your parents sound lovely and you’re absolutely right, you can never say thank you enough and show people how much they mean to you. 🙂


  11. A beautiful post about some special people. I think you are lucky not only because you have such amazing parents but also because you recognise it and express gratitude. And I love your gratitude set – what a wonderful idea.


  12. weebluebirdie says:

    Hello, I’ve popped over from Juls because the idea of gratitude fits with some of my notions for the coming year. I’m not too good at reaching out, maybe this will help. Though like Juls, I too have difficulty with regularity!!


    • Hello! I’m super chuffed you popped over for a visit today of all days. I’m sitting here watching our unusually good weather turn into a major winter storm and a weebluebirdie gives me hope that spring will come. I think it’s a sign!

      I’m super excited to hear what you come up with for ANY gratitude post you do. I’m glad you like the idea too. I was a little worried I wasn’t going to get any company on this trip, but Juls hopped right on and now you, so I think we’re off and running!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Your parents have been a solid support and the things they do only parents can do – friends, siblings, relatives will come close but such moments can be had only with parents. Your parents are thriving for any age and not just for the ones that fall in the bracket of 70+ 🙂 It is an amazing gesture to show your gratitude like this. This project sounds lovely.

    I am trying a different version where I send a note to those people when we have an argument – something good and what they mean to me. Let’s see how it goes and how it keeps my temper in check.


  14. Outstanding post and the gift set is s good idea! So is the gratitude post – and enjoyed hearing the snippets – but the photo of them with the frame was such a warm touch! 😎💜💛❤️


  15. Way to go. I tend to spend most of my time bitching about this or that, the idea of “grateful” is kind of welcome. Ah, who am I kidding. I’ll bitch about every timy thing till the day I die #feelingblessed.


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