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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Rosie's Corner: The Shades of Gratitude

by Nicole Zornitzer

When I was a teenager, gratitude meant being allowed to stay out past curfew with my friends.

When I was in college, gratitude meant getting grades good enough to welcome a successful career.

When I was 23, gratitude meant being thankful for having 23 good years with my father and having to say goodbye much too soon.

When I was 30 and birthed my son, gratitude was everything, and love was all-consuming.

When I was 33, gratitude was finally giving birth to the daughter I had waited for my entire life, and my world was complete.

When I was 36, gratitude became the ability to remain strong in the winds of change and move forward in my world without my husband. It was raising two children and learning to breathe all over again.

When I was 43, gratitude was surviving a stroke that nearly took my life.  

Today, at 47, gratitude is being with the most loving, selfless, caring, nurturing, brilliant woman I have ever known—my beloved mother.

My mother has terminal cancer, glioblastoma. 

Am I grateful today? Yes, I suppose, as I watch my mother swallow her first dose of chemotherapy and prepare for radiation treatment.  

Gratitude has so many shades; the one I wear today is not one I want, but it is what is.

I will cry myself to sleep tonight as I have each day of the last seven weeks. I will cry for what the universe has “gifted” my mother, myself, my brother and our children. I will plead with my deceased father and grandmother to spare her from this. I will mourn prematurely for a life that is going to be cut short. 

I am grateful for the woman that I have been given the honor of calling my mother, my friend. My mother is so much more than a mother to my brother and me—she is the woman who picked up the pieces when our father committed suicide and continued to be the adoring mother she is.  

So yes, I am grateful every single day that I rise and my mother is with me by my side, experiencing life, breathing air and appreciating all that is.  

Gratitude takes on many shades; let us all appreciate and cherish every one of those shades, even the darkest of them all. 

Nicole Zornitzer, E-RYT 1000, Yoga Therapist, founder of Niyama Yoga & Wellness Studio in Randolph, New Jersey.

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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