Mourning with others makes our hearts grateful

There are so many things to be thankful for this week. Unfortunately most of the gratitude that fills our hearts is a byproduct of seeing someone else's situation. Top of mind this week is the health and safety of our loved ones.

Sandy Hook Elementary

Our hearts go out to every life that was touched by last week's shooting. Even though it was on the other side the country, these truly were "shots heard 'round the world" ... even in the Mid-Columbia.

Newtown, Conn., is 2,760 miles away from the Tri-Cities, but that community's grief feels much closer to the heart of every parent.

We will never understand why it happened. But we do know that parents around the country were holding their children a little closer on Friday ... and Saturday.

We're thankful for the tears we've shed, it means our heart is still beating, and vulnerable.

We're grateful for feelings of grief and sympathy we share for those that are hurting.

And we're grateful for the love we feel for those in our immediate circles.

Our emotions can sometimes be raw or betray us, but they reinforce the humanity inside of us. For this, we are grateful.

Windy Washington

Our windstorm made the national news. Countless fences are down and who knows how many trees are uprooted. But -- and this is part we're grateful for -- no one has been reported injured from the storm.

(The people that sell shingles probably are thankful for the uptick in business.)

We're grateful for the repair crews that got our power back on; for neighbors helping neighbors clear the debris from their yards.

You might not think about it, but one way to get to know that family down the street is to go and ask for what's left of your trampoline back.

We are stunned by how powerful Mother Nature can be. Stunned, and somewhat humbled. We're thankful for that, too.

Sometimes when we become too full of ourselves, it's good to be put back in our places ... gently.

Car accidents

We seem to have seen an increase in car accidents lately as well. It seems like there is a photo of a car wreck in the paper every day. Some are fender benders; some are fatalities with strange circumstances.

We're thinking specifically of a truck with a stuck accelerator that killed a pedestrian in a parking lot and of a bicyclist who got wedged under a vehicle and dragged.

Such things are unexpected. They can't really be prevented.

In short, we know that our hours on limited. We don't usually know what that limit is, but the clock is ticking.

It makes us grateful for the little things in life, like a child's sticky kiss or the aches and pains of growing older.