Gratitude is the essence of the Thanksgiving holiday. After reading a Harvard Medical School study about gratitude and its positive effects, Michelle Barclay asked several judges who are members of the State Bar of Georgia’s SOLACE Committee and the State Bar’s Wellness Committee about what they were grateful for in this daunting year. We hope this can serve as an inspiration to your own practice of gratitude. Here are their responses:

Judge Clyde L. Reese, Court of Appeals of Georgia –

I am grateful, amidst all the turmoil and upheaval of our current times, for the many continued small gestures of kindness and grace encountered every day across our city, state, and nation; shared wittingly and unwittingly.  These things will see us through.” 

Judge Render Heard, Tifton Circuit Juvenile Court –

“I’m most grateful that navigating the pandemic has been a not-so-subtle reminder that none of us are promised tomorrow or anything in it. It’s been refreshing rediscovering that is best lived at the moment.

Judge Shondeana Crews Morris, Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court –

‘ Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things’  Robert Brault

I am grateful for the “little things” in life.   Today, my family came together to say our final goodbyes to my favorite uncle, Tyrone Bush affectionately known as “Uncle Ronnie”.  September 15, 2020, Uncle Ronnie was rushed to the hospital due to COVID-19.  He transitioned November 15, 2020.  Uncle Ronnie was the strong, unbreakable anchor that held our family together with love, support, strength, and kindness.

For over a decade, our family tradition surrounding the Thanksgiving holidays was gathering at my home for Thanksgiving dinner with our extended family.  Each of the six families had the responsibility of bringing a Thanksgiving dish for dinner except Uncle Ronnie.  His task was to bring all the beverages; ranging from Capri Sun for the young children, Arnold Palmer for the seniors, Coca-Cola for the 40 and over crowd, Georgia sweet tea for me, water, and a few spirits.  Even though a simple “little thing”, Uncle Ronnie took tremendous pride in delivering the beverages the night before Thanksgiving.  Like clockwork, the doorbell rung at 8:00 p.m.  with Uncle Ronnie standing next to boxes of beverages.  Once inside our home, Uncle Ronnie prepared his favorite beverage and sat in his favorite black leather recliner chair.  We talked, laughed, debated, and reminisced for hours.  I truly am grateful for the “little things” in life such as delivering beverages on Thanksgiving Eve.  This year, I will miss the delivery but will cherish the memories forever.

Thank you for reading. We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.