Today was a good day.  Sometimes I forget just how wonderful it is just to be able to say that. I’ve had days that weren’t good, days that were dark and sad, days that were lonely.  But today wasn’t one of them.  It was a chilly, cloudy morning here in Sedona, but by noontime, that reliable Arizona sunshine came out in full force, warmed things up, and made the budding trees and new shoots of grass shine like new.  As if they weren’t already!  That alone made it a good day. But that wasn’t all.  I had coffee with friends, then took a drive through magnificent Boynton Canyon to one of the most beautiful resort/spas in the world and bought my daughter a birthday present. She likes things from spas that smell nice. (I bought a lotion for myself, too!) Walking back to the car, the smell of pinion pines and juniper perfumed the air. There isn’t a spa scent in the world that can match that.

The roads were lined with parked cars, where visitors had stopped to stare at the textured, sculpted walls of red rock.  The tourists have started to descend upon us, and the trails are filled with hikers. The people who’ve lived here awhile complain about the “crowds,” but I don’t mind them at all. I used to be one of those visitors, struck and mesmerized by the beauty of this sacred place. It doesn’t belong to us just because we live here. It belongs to everyone. Besides, we can go hiking during the week, and have the place to ourselves. There is nothing like the silence in a canyon.

Throughout this wonderful day, I thought about my father, as he sat at the head of the dinner table. After a prayer of Thanksgiving, he’d say to my mother, “Just look, Precious (yes, that was my mother’s name). We have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and all my children are here.”  How simple that was. How miraculous. The older I grow, the deeper his meaning becomes. We lived a simple life, in the household of a policeman. My mother stayed home to care for us, and for him. Some people would say we were poor. But not my father. He knew what real riches were.  We didn’t have everything we wanted, but we were loved, truly and unconditionally.

I am aware, like my father, that I have a roof over my head and food on the table. My children are healthy and safe, my grandchildren are thriving, and even my cat is beginning to heal (see last week’s blog). I am healthy. I am blessed. And I am living my dream, at last.

There are people in the world tonight who are sleeping outdoors in the cold. There are people who will go to bed hungry, unloved, and lonely. I ask God’s blessings to come to them.  I know that I have had lives like that, and for whatever reason, I am on a different path this time around. I have different lessons to learn. My soul has brought me here and tonight, I am filled with astonishment and gratitude.

That’s all I have this week, dear readers, but that’s quite enough.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at For a signed copy, go to

4 thoughts on “Thanks

  1. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is your most beautiful and profound essay. It is perfect in every way.
    Sad to say, I know what is true and I’m grateful for all my riches yet I can’t find the peace that should come with gratitude. I want nothing more than a simple life and I want nothing more than to sit back and wallow in my family love and their simplicity. If only I could stop crying. Let go and let God and stop crying.
    Our life is about to be upended again and I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m not sure I’m up to it, this starting over stuff. We’ve done it many times. I hope I remember the process. I’m happy to let God do his magic, to trust him for leading us to a good outcome.
    Now I have to find the courage to let go.
    Thank you Helen.


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