Another year… big deal!
T H A N K F U L N E S S
Carol St. Ann
So, let’s be honest; things are bad. Maybe badder than they have ever been in our lifetimes.
I’ve made a decision to shake it off and force myself - yeah, it’s a forced mindset - to think about the wonderfulness in my life, past and present.
When I think about how life could have been and what it was and is, there is no other place to go but Thankful.
I’m so very grateful for my parents who adopted me; my Jerry who loved me more than I ever thought anyone would and taught me how to love more than I ever thought I could; my daughter, Christina; my dear friend, Jeanne; my favorite friend, Barbara; my best friend, Andrea; my cousin, Maryellen, who’s more like a sister; and so many others of whom I’ll write below, were here when I was. Our times together made the profound difference in my life. They made my life!
I do believe we’ll find one another again.
I could have ended up in foster care for my entire childhood, like so many who were never / will never be so blessed. Both my (adoptive) parents were the only child in their 6+ kids families to have been born in the United States. I’m still very close to *my extended relatives to this day. But that’s not all. The notion of ethnicity was taught to me by their language barriers, their culinary delights, their senses of family and community, their love of homeland and moreso this great and grand country they now called home.
The notion of gratitude was gracefully taught, first by their undying recounting of how they escaped their beloved homelands and then by how deep and profound their love for this country of ours was exhibited in their words, deeds, and actions every single day. That pride and devotion are actually part of one’s DNA.
The notion that humility and pride can stand side by side. Pride to stand with loved ones. To care for one’s family, even if it meant quitting school to go to work for $.16 (16 cents) an hour, in order to help when help was the most valuable commodity there was.
My *paternal grandfather died in a street accident when my father was 6 weeks old. My *grandmother, a new immigrant, with no understanding of “American talk”, took a room in a boarding house with her 6 children, and she raised them herself, supporting them by taking in other people’s laundry. And she always said she was grateful those people trusted her with their clothes.
She laundered from dawn til dusk and when she passed away, at 83, still never having learned but a few words in American, the church was standing room only at her funeral, filled with family and friends and all the families whose laundry she’d cared for while her children were growing up. Stories of how hard she’d worked, and how no one ever did her customers’ laundry as beautifully as she had were more than abundant. Indeed they were in unanimous agreement.
See, she, and all her children, were humble enough to take on what some would consider menial work, but never sacrificed pride in performing their tasks. How’s that for a lesson to be grateful for?
Sadly, I mostly fall short these days, but my children don’t. And I’ll sneak that in as an additional thing to be grateful for.
The notion that History, real history, (not the blatant hogwash kids are taught in school) matters, if we’re to learn from it and protect ourselves. And it mattered that we, as youngsters, listened. Not like today, where no one talks except through texts—and blog posts.
The notion that forgiveness and understanding are nice, but consequences are part of life. That trophies for showing up do nothing but create an overinflated sense of entitlement and teach absolutely nothing. There are consequences, in real life for all our choices; the good as well as the bad. That Intent matters when considering one’s choices and when judging the choices of others. Oh yes, forgiveness is good; Godly even, but forgetting is nothing less than stupid. History, true History matters.
The notion that gratitude and respect are never to be set aside. My grandmother was so loved. So idolized by us all. My God in heaven! To have sent her away to a facility, an old age home, as they called it, was never on the radar. In fact, if any bickering was ever done amongst the family it always over who would have the privilege— PRIVILEGE—of caring for her in her declining days.
If I start on the notions my cousins, and all our kids and grandkids have taught, I’ll run out of internet space.
I’ll stop here. I’m grateful for family. Fully and passionately.
As detailed in "Play Pens, Bikes, and Parents Shared" , another blessing afforded by having been chosen to become part of this loving, 1st generation US, blue-collar family. Was the blue-collar neighborhood in which they lived. There were future friends; lifetime friends awaiting my arrival. They taught me what a friend is, how to be one, how to recognize one, how to treat one. And boy! They taught like pros! I’ve never found myself wanting for companionship.
So far, the apparent, though not originally intended, theme here is unfolding as LESSONS.
There have definitely been a mountain of health-related pitfalls these past 9 years, I’m still here, and most days doing just fine. These last 4 months brought another scare, but I successfully kicked butt, and am on the mend. YeeHaw!
Time to lighten up. I’ve already made myself cry twice. Sheesh!
It’s often convenient. Tons of fun and as gifted me with meeting (kind of) and getting to know (kind of) all you fine and wonderful people. And it’s about to become the backbone (and hopefully not the bane) of my newest endeavor. Soon to be announced.
L I F E
Ain’t it grand?! I get to be retired and reap the benefi— Oh, didn’t I mention that yet that I’m retired?
And I’ve been rescued by a sweet, happy, good-natured chihuahua!
And I am thankful.