Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.

Henri Frederic Amiel

The moment that I found the rock taught me about gratefulness.

I had been waiting for a week for results of a biopsy when I happened upon the smooth painted rock. Fearful that this time I would not escape a cancer diagnosis, I was taking a walk when its bright colors caught my eye.

I had spent the week trying to think of all of the things I am thankful for, as I waited for news that could dramatically alter my life. To ease my anxiety, I tried to open my eyes to anything that I could count as a blessing. Frogs on my porch, a cool summer breeze, my husband’s smiles, my dog’s constant companionship, a friend who held my hand, just as worried as I.

Finding the rock that had been lovingly placed by a stranger had these words painted on its back:

#Kirkland Rocks
Keep or rehide

Painted by a child perhaps, the rock represented unconditional love. It gave me hope. I knew in that moment that whatever news I received, I would be ok.

As Henri Frederic Amiel stated, “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.” Being thankful for the little things in my life that week opened my eyes and heart to gratitude. But as Amiel explains, “Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist of merely words, gratitude is shown in acts.”

So it is with thankfulness that I celebrate a benign tumor. With gratitude I now rehide the rock for another to find.


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Diane Worthey

Diane Worthey

About the author
Diane Worthey lives in Pullman, WA with her husband of 30 years and her corgi. She teaches violin and viola for the University of Idaho Preparatory Program. When she isn’t teaching or playing in concerts, she enjoys writing. She is currently working on a book for children with a classical music theme. She is grateful for the moment of grace she found while walking which inspired this story.