One of my favorite authors is Spider Robinson. He wrote an amazing book called Callahan's Cross-Time Saloon. It's about a mythical bar in Long Island, New York, where aliens, time travellers, vampires, and other unusual characters get together to discuss what's on their minds.
It starts with a toast. They order a drink, step up to a chalk line, and toast whatever's on their mind, good or bad. Then they drain their drink, and throw their glass into the fireplace, smashing it into bits.
Afterwards, all the other bar patrons listen as the toast-giver explains his toast, with a story. Then, they lend their support. It's beautiful.
Jake, one of the main characters in the book, and really Spider Robinson's in-story avatar, pithily describes the philosophy behind the bar, and this sacred ritual. "Shared pain is lessened, shared joy is increased. Thus we refute entropy."
I witness things like this happen in my own life sometime. Yesterday (which this gratitude is for) was such a day. Earlier in the day, we attended my mother-in-law's funeral. It was a beautiful and terrible event.
A while afterward, Missy, my sister-in-law, two of my closest friends on the planet, and I went out for some very delicious and unhealthy food. We split this fine concoction you see below, an old-fashioned banana split sundae.
As we ate, we laughed, cried, and shared. The terrible got a little less terrible, for a few moments. Joyful sharing made nostalgic things sweet, and helped connect a rough day to many other better ones.
I'm grateful we got to do that.