A very intelligent, wise, and overflowing with love individual named Patreeko inspired me to write about what I am grateful for (or at least the short version/part I).
Without putting a concrete order to the list, let’s start with the parents. Without knowing their background, meeting them for the first time you would think they were on top of the world (but one they worked very hard to obtain). Very meager childhoods did not dissuade them from striving to meet their full potential. They enjoyed everything life had to offer. Even when faced with working three jobs to own his own home and put food on the table for a family of six, my father did not give up and could see the bigger picture. A college degree became very important in the working world if you wanted to move on up and even though my mom was a full time housewife, he pushed her toward the same (as they would say, knowledge is something that no one can take from you). He always maintained a beautiful garden, the envy of all the neighborhood. Growing each plant by seedling, they flourished, spread, and brought amazing colors to all who went by.
Graduating with a high honors Bachelor’s degree to teach, was the obvious choice for my mother. She had so much to offer young people that was not offered in school books. Life is not all black and white (I am looking at you Math) but having a deep passion, appreciating, understanding, and acknowledging the utmost importance of music, art, dance, languages, cultures, travel… it is all related and connected to the ‘black and white’ and if you don’t know and understand these pieces to the puzzle of life, than you are not getting the whole picture, and that’s just sad. She was a docent at a very prestigious art museum and would give tours every Sunday. With a very young me in tow, I learned more about the subtleties of color and symbolism in art than any six year old needs. So yes, very grateful for their wisdom, their commonsense, their teaching me (and my daughter) about the bigger things in life and how to push through, focus, understand, analyze, problem solve, and keep it moving, keep it positive, the ‘you got this’ attitude.
Next up, the kid, or Goose as she is known in this blog. Through no fault of her own, she has pushed me to become a better person. One with more patience and understanding (although she may not agree with that statement but it is on-going and always working on it), one that makes me look deeper into my own self to do what is right and not what is easy, to try my best to be a good role model, to be less selfish, to enjoy what life has to offer us, and at many times, make our own fun. She is the bright ball of smiles and laughter you would expect any child to be and even to this day, her naivety is a breath of fresh air in this sullied society. Our time together has been unmatched…all the day trips, international vacations, daily up and downs…I wouldn’t change any of it. She has always had the gift of giving and has found a way to bring her sunshine to those that may not have it. She currently works as a caregiver (while working on her nursing degree) for the elderly and while not all are homebound and alone, she offers companionship and many laughs for them and their family members. Her patients are very lucky to have someone who loves to assist and support them as much as she does, for growing old can be a very lonely and scary process these days. She is simply an amazing person that has so much to offer, on so many levels, to so many people.
I am very grateful for The Q – can’t talk about her and you can’t make me. But she most definitely was my world.
I use the word ‘friend’ sparingly because there are very few people who actually can be honored by it. In today’s world it is overused and tainted. Very few people who will drop everything and be there for you when you need it, no questions asked, no judgement given, and not ‘yes’ you to death but one that will tell the truth for your own good, no matter how much it hurts and want the same in return. I have had the privilege of befriending Brienne (like Brie cheese and then N), “DubaSue” and her dolphin move, one that shall remain anonymous, and Rebecca (aka Beth to her family, she is Rebecca to me). Each one of them has been a part of my life for well over 15 years and although we don’t get to see one another or talk as often as we would like, truth is, I know I could meet up at any given point and carry on as if no time had passed, just a few more gray hairs to count the years since we last met.
To end this ‘Part I’ of sorts I will say, I am very grateful for my health. I thank God every night for my health; mental, physical, and emotional. It does need a little tweaking here and there. I am now in the battle of the bulge mode; maintaining what others may consider to be a ‘normal’ weight but it bugs the heck out of me. If I don’t contain it now, it will only become an issue later one. Being middle aged brings on a plethora of health issues and thus far (knock on wood) I have been blessed with a body that requires little to no maintenance; no medication, no surgeries, no therapy…yes very blessed and it does not go without thanks.
Days go by quickly and it is very important to take the time to remember what we are grateful for, even if it is not a list of things, but merely one or two (this sounds corny but every day I thank the man out loud, that invented indoor plumbing and the hot shower-that guy rocks!).
Look hard, find that thing you are grateful for today, big or small…embrace it and be grateful for it, today and every day.