A Dose of Gratitude

'I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.' - G.K. Chesterton

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am struck by the many blessings in my life. My family, my friends and my career top the list, but my gratitude is much bigger, reaching beyond the obvious and taking root in life’s finer details, including wine.

As you will discover after reading the cover story, there are a number of doctors who choose wine as a second career. The writer, Rusty Gaffney, is a retired doctor himself. In the story, he explains the wine and medicine connection, interviewing several winery-owning physicians.

I understand a doctor’s attraction to wine from a biochemistry standpoint, but what intrigues me more is the psychological salve that growing grapes and making wine offers to those whose work is so often filled with grief.

In the feature, Dr. John Zelko of Z’IVO Wines says it best, “Who knows better than us life’s tragedies and sorrows and the need to share what is good?”

Wine is joyful when it is shared with others and offered in gratitude for the day. Doctors and nurses understand this well.

Although I am a journalist, I come from a medical family. My grandmother was a nurse. My mother and three of my aunts are nurses. I have several cousins who are also nurses as well as doctors. My brother is a gastroenterologist, and two of my sisters are nurses, too.

Needless to say, I hear the sad stories all the time, especially from my twin sister who works on a Neuro-ICU unit at a hospital in my hometown.

I usually chat with her on my way home from the office. I unload the often-frivolous details of my day, and then, she tells me hers.

Honestly, I don’t know how she does it. While at the hospital, she is surrounded by heart-wrenching tragedy for 12-hour stretches. While doctors come and go throughout her shift, she — as a nurse — is the one comforting the patient and the family, which she does with such grace and humility.

Before she hangs up, she often advises, “Count your blessings.”

And I do. I count her twice followed by the many doctors and nurses working to heal our bodies and minds.

To all of them and all of you — I count you as blessings, too — I would like to raise my glass on this Thanksgiving. Thank you.

- Hilary Berg, OWP Editor






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