It's early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day. I'm thousands of miles away from home and my loved ones who lie still sleeping so the hush that time and distance have afforded me is time that I can now use to reflect and give thanks.
I have so much for which to be truly thankful and I think about these things every day, not just on the national holiday. Sometimes, when I have trouble falling asleep, I really do count my blessings.
As I grow older, I recognize that not all blessings are what some might consider happy or joy-filled.
Some blessings are simply opportunities. To learn. To grow. To appreciate. To understand. To be able to live a life filled with "moments". Blessings come in many forms and sometimes we miss or don't recognize them. Sometimes, they are obvious and sometimes, we just don't accept them. But, they are there and I have many of them and for that, I take joy in making this little list of those things for which I am personally thankful.
So, I am thankful for......
Parents who were always present. Their ears and eyes were open to my heart and while I may not have always liked the answers, they were there. Lifelines were thrown, tears were mopped up, joys were shared. A father who is grief stricken with a heart that will remain forever broken...a blessing for those of us who are privileged to help him through the rest of his life. A mother who, as she struggled to transition from this world to her next, took precious moments to tell my father that he was the bravest man she ever knew and to her son in law, the words, "I love you Joe". A mother who, during her life, took the time to teach us tolerance and acceptance of all people at all times, good or bad. She was a woman of substance, a woman way ahead of every curve.
Blessings, even in our darkest hours as a family.
A husband who loves me but more than that, a husband who is loved....by all who meet him. I know I have been blessed in a very special way. Oftentimes, I wonder why I have been so fortunate. We met in college and have been together ever since. A good father. A good man.
A loving son to his own and my parents, one who has always done the "right" thing and never failed his family. A proud man who never boasts but holds in his heart every accomplishment, large or small, that his family makes. A strong man, a role model for all of us. My dearest friend in all the world, now and forever. The only husband I will ever have. Blessings, too bountiful to bear.
Two children who have grown to adulthood. Two adults who have a sense of self-esteem that has been their guiding light. Two beautiful bodies and two amazing brains. Each with talent, each with wisdom, each with their own personality, vastly different but strong and free in their expression.
Two lovely children-in-law, each perfect for each spouse. Productive, proud of their accomplishments, supportive of their mates and loving extensions of our family. Lifelines to our own children, time and again. Blessings, thanks to their parents.
Two of the world's most incredible granddaughters. If there were such a thing as "perfection" these children would certainly personify it. But, alas, perfection only exists in God. Healthy. Smart. Compassionate already. Wise. Full of grace. Each has already contributed to my list of things to be grateful for in too many ways to possibly count. Thank you Sara, for the highest point in my life after the birth of you and your brother, the invitation to be present for the birth of your first child. Blessing beyond compare, burned into my memory, still vivid as if it were yesterday, almost seven years ago. Bless you.
Sunsets on Cape Cod. Sunsets in Umbria. Friends here, there and everywhere. Beach days with my Joe at my side. Seashells. A brother who understands. My feet that take me wherever I need to or want to be. My best girlfriend, Cam. My best other "girl friend" Jay. Unconditional loves. My blue bathrobe. Lavender. Glitter. Knowing Saint Francis, walking in his footsteps. Doctors who listened to me and helped me find peace. Dr. Jones, a special gift from God. Dr. Gleason, who totally "got it". Hospice and the angels who guided us and our mother on her journey to the other side of life. Tau. My writing class. The Cape Cod Playhouse. The Chat Room. The Cultural Center. My Cpap machine. Benadryl. My Jetta. Hundreds more........
I fill in the blanks with every breath I take and never take a breath for granted.
My faith. My faith. My faith.
Pax e bonum.
Buona regrazimento a tutti!