At each location they offer housing, a kitchen, and other support services for families to make the challenges of their situation a bit easier.
Their mission is to keep families together, as they believe that in doing so, there is healing for everyone involved in dealing with childhood illness.
As I spoke to some of the families, my perspective shifted. It is easy to take things for granted when our children are healthy and our families are home. The families I filmed are grateful for having a meal cooked for them, access to wi-fi, a bedroom that feels personal, and smiles from people who are familiar when they are far from home.
Listening to these families, I saw that their gratitude was deep, overwhelming and intense. It created opening and closeness.
Talking to Kids about Gratitude
I try to use gratitude in my home as a regular on-going conversation with my son. When we focus on gratitude, it can create good feeling and closeness. Sometimes I will ask my son during dinner what happened in his day that made him feel grateful.
Other times as I am tucking him into bed, I will tell him the 5 things about my day that I am grateful for and ask him about his.
There are a lot of other ways to introduce gratitude into a conversation, to make it into a game and to keep it present. I find that talking about what we are grateful for shifts things. It makes the mood more positive, lighter and gentler.
Daily Awareness of Gratitude
In that spirit, today I am grateful for
- My son
- My good health
- My family and dear friends
- The beautiful morning light coming in the window as I write this
- The gift of getting to do what I love
- The good books I have read this summer and the joy of reading
- The challenge and fun of writing this blog
- The day ahead
Sharing What We Are Thankful For
What are you grateful for?
How does gratitude open a conversation in your family?