I will be the first to admit that I am not always the most gracious of people. Absentminded, I'll walk away from a helpful person without saying 'thank you', or forget to follow up about a friend's important appointment. It's not that my momma didn't teach me right, but I admit that I - more often than not - am inwardly-drawn. But this is slowly changing, with some assistance.
In any case, amidst the chaos of the last few weeks there has been a sense of deep gratitude within for those surrounding me.
I have this amazing circle of friends, one which I inherited in a very bum deal and to which I'm connected by nothing other than a common single tragic event in our lives - the loss of a dear friend. I don't want to dwell on this, but it does speak to the circumstance surrounding how we met and became connected. This isn't your typical met-them-at-work, met-them-at-college, met-them-through-a-hobby group, had-to-be-friends-because-we-saw-each-other-a-lot-and-are-forced-to-get-along. The question "How did you all meet?" is postured with bland expectations. The answer is singular in this case, just like the circle.
Ok, let's just admit... most of you reading right now are in this circle. So I don't really need to go into too much detail about how amazing it is to see everyone stay so connected, despite great distances and grand dramas. All too many times I have seen amazing instances of effort and forgiveness and joy bestowed on one another.
Somehow, so many of them have this incredible ability to truly get to the core of a person, find their essence and their passions, and feed that soul with their own gifts. Instances of generosity, thoughtfulness, willingness to go above and beyond, simple embraces, and drop-of-a-hat love. They see the bigger picture in so many ways, beyond personal grievances or selfishness.
These are the people that saw me through last year. When I was doom and gloom and struggling to get through even the most menial of tasks - they checked in, allowed me to vent, didn't for one second let me forget they were there, and just simply loved me. Love I didn't think I deserved, love that I rejected at times. Love they sent nonetheless. Without asking for a single thing in return.
I am grateful too for a supportive, loving family. I think of them often, despite distances and busy lives, and take great joy in the growth of our relationships over the last few year. After years of believing I was so different and so misunderstood, I grew up. Simple as that. And it's allowed me to feel comfortable reaching out to extended family and try to initiate growth in those relationships too. Small but progressing changes that continue to make me smile.
I refuse to get mushy and tell you about how amazing Able-Bodied Boy is. He just is. He brings out the best in me and challenges me to be even more, all while loving me unconditionally. And I'll be done now before I get carried away and cry or something. Awkward, considering it's my Wednesday night out in the coffee shop...
So thank you all. You amaze me and shape me and give me something to strive for. I love you all and you are my personal heroes.
Who are you grateful for?