It is Thanksgiving week and this is the holiday that I just love because it reminds me to take stock and say thank you with words and gestures for all that I have. This year there are a few events that made me really look around and be even more grateful. Tonight we went to a wake. One of my sons' baseball coaches, father of a little girl that goes to daycare with them, had a heart attack and died at the young age of 43. I saw him at the school dance for our kids the night before it happened, we exchanged pleasantries and laughed at how much cooler our kids were at such a young age compared to our own childhood. I will not pretend that we were friends, we were acquaintances. I would not read the letter his daughter wrote him that hung in his casket for I would have broken down and been a mess in front of his wife and her and that would do no one any good. He had coached and been very active in our youth town league. It was a somber event and I cannot pretend to know how the family will fare, it will be hard and my thoughts are with them.
My first thank you goes to this town. This town with it's imperfections, with it's diverse population, with it's "I'm not suburban in the sprawl sense" attitude, with it's beautiful view of the majestic Hudson, old houses and problems never lets me down. It is full of people who band together in good times, like the school dance, and with an outpouring that was overwhelming tonight at the funeral home. The parents and kids of this town show they care for one another in so many ways when times are good but even more so when one of us needs to be held up, helped up or just held. To the Facebook pages dedicated to be a resource for other parents and a soap box for all that we feel so strongly our children deserve from the world.
My second goes to all the fluff that I do not need but am glad I can have. I know that some of my socialist leaning friends so want me to say that I do not get any pleasure from material things but that is a lie and I would find a world where only my basic needs met incredibly sad. I wish the world all had their basic needs met and those few things that they do not need accessible. I am glad to be able to have some fluff and sparkle.
This year some people close to me had close calls with their health. I am glad they were only close calls in the end but it was chilling to wait and see them deteriorate before they got better. I am grateful for their presence in my life in so many ways and I have made it a conscious effort to not be too busy, or too confident that they know, to tell them more often that their place in my life is one of the things I am most grateful for.
My sons are a gift, sometimes a loud annoying gift, sometimes a gift that is so challenging that I am ready to yell but a gift for being who they are and pushing me to be that much better a person. They keep showing me how much love I can keep giving. I am thankful for them and for their friends because they show me that the future has such promise.
My friends, those that I just share Facebook time with, those that I share work time with, those that I share family moments with, those that I share Scandal and Homeland obsessions with and especially those that I share my soul with. I know I tell you periodically but I cannot imagine my past, present or future without you in some form. Your ecards, posts, music and sharing of your lives (especially pics of kiddies or milestones) have often made me smile in times I needed a pick me up. Those who have that special place in my life -- I LOVE YOU, I know I tell you but really can you ever get too much love?
My mother for being who she is and letting me, mostly but not always because after all she is my mother and an Eastern European opinionated one at that, be myself. For her amazing strength when her husband got sick and to him for being the "spare" grandfather my boys just treasure. My other Spanish mother I miss you lots and lots but you are always in my heart. My husband because he is such a great father and because after all of these bazillion of years together still tries to convince me that somehow he is younger than me (he is not) and makes me laugh.
I am grateful for this blog and for anyone who reads it, and this year for my great blog guest writers who added such great perspectives and shared with so many what I knew - these women ROCK.
I was saddened today by the loss of such a young person but if we learn anything from that is that we need to love what we have, be thankful for who we are and say thank you and tell those who we care about that they are important to us. Enjoy every moment and do not waste much of your time wondering what you could have done - just do it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and take a moment to reflect on what you are especially thankful for this year.