ABC’s of Being Thankful

It is with a heart full of gratitude that I share this writing by my friend and colleague, Robyn Moncure regarding her musings on Thanksgiving.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.  Enjoy!
Jessica Shields Flowers

Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday, I oftentimes feel its nothing more than an excuse for gluttony. I don’t like the idea of a National Holiday coercing me to acknowledge or express my gratitude…because the thing is, I’m thankful every single day of my life. So, in the spirit of celebrating the Giving of Thanks, I’ve written this alphabet of gratitude.

A       I am thankful for autumn. I love the crisp air, the cool days, being able to wear my favorite things: jeans and boots and sweaters. I love the idea that though the world is in its dying time, there is no real dying, only the time needed to gather strength.

B       bugger…bloody…bum…bollocks…berk…blighter…bleeding…and those are just a few of the British slang words I love. Everyone should have a bit of fun fitting these colorful words and phrases into everyday language.

C       Church, it may seem an odd thing to say when I don’t have a current church home, but I grew up in a wonderful church, where I learned not only to believe what I was taught, which truly shaped my beliefs, but where I became brave enough to ask questions which lead me to develop who I am spiritually.

D       Lizz and Maggie’s Daddy has been my friend through thick and thin for a solid 25 years, and even though we have hurt each other a-plenty we are still good friends and I wouldn’t want it any other way. He gave me the greatest gifts I ever received rolled up into the most perfect little women. He is a good man and I’m glad I had a chance to know and love him. I am thankful to have had him in my truly strange and wonderful life.

E        This one is so easy…Elizabeth. She made me a mommy! She has given me such fun and love, many frights, and the most epic fights. I am in awe of this young woman, my first daughter. She is absolute perfection, I have always longed to hold her precious yet stubborn soul in my hands and softly croon words of love. She has challenged me to be a better mom and a better woman. My love for her is greater than the whole wide world.

F        Thankful for flowers! Anything that blooms really…trees, shrubs, bulbs, plants…doesn’t matter, it blooms and I’m a happy girl.      

G       I don’t know how I could be any more thankful for giggles…but I’ll continue to try! Little tiny baby ones, great big loud ones, even the ones when you’re standing in the kitchen trying not to pee your pants giggling so hard no sound comes out! My favorite giggle belongs to a brown-eyed girl; just ask her big sister, she truly has the best giggle ever!

H       I wish I could get a Hogwarts letter and live in the world Jo Rowling created for Harry Potter. The books that moved a generation…and I relished every single word…at least three times. Loyalty and love and trust and loss…and the coolest Godfather EVER!

I        See, I was going to say intellect…but I decided to go with icepick. The amazingly wonderful (albeit metaphorical) icepick I keep handy so I can stab when the mood strikes. The coolest thing is getting to share it with my friends when they need it…this icepick makes the rounds.

J        As much as I love the light, I am a girl who tends to spend a goodly bit of time down in the dark…the rabbit hole is my way of dealing when the going gets rough. As much time as I spend deep down in the melancholy, I’m aware enough to understand and appreciate the joy I experience in my life. It truly comes from the least expected places, keeps me guessing, encourages me to bathe in the light it brings.

K        From as early as I can remember, there has always been a kitty in my home. Sweet soft little fuzzballs of love, purring and nuzzling and lying slap on you when it is least convenient, isn’t that the best?

L        Love is my very favorite word…and that is saying quite a lot as I am a fan of words. What would we be without love? I have been blessed in my life to experience the giving and receiving of so much love. I love with an open heart and an overwhelming ferocity and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

M       Every single day of my life, I am thankful for Maggie. The little girl who almost wasn’t. With one touch of her hand, she taught me an entirely new way to love. She is joy and verve, giggles and unbelievable sass…and a dash of evil just to keep us guessing. She lights up my world with her deliciously undefinable “Maggie-ness”. I love her more than the moon and the stars.

N       I’m so thankful for my nieces and nephews! Frankie and Savannah started it all, wasn’t much longer before Darien came along. Then I got Josh, Cari, Sarah and Caleb, Emily the Pickle and her little Dylan too. Clay came into my life and kindly brought his sister Evie along to play. Baby Ian, who is now a big kid, and recently I’ve kind of become the aunt of a young man called Jack. These babies big and small are part of my brood and I love each and every one of them with my great big heart!

O       I am thankful for the opportunities I have been presented with, one in particular…VBCC. One phone call from Jessica started the happiest time in my life. I loved being in that truly amazing place with those women who cared so deeply about children and each other. I learned so many things about myself, about how to be a better mom, about how much a roomful of little children can change the world as we know it. I made friendships that will last a lifetime. I will always treasure my time there.

P       I don’t have an overabundance of patience, but what little I have, I am eternally thankful for. I’ve been told patience is a virtue…I don’t know about all that, but I’m going to keep trying to learn.

Q       I ask questions, so many questions. I’m a curious girl; I like to know what’s the what. I believe you can never ask too many questions…even the futile ones that start with how or why. I will keep asking until I have no more breath…because it is my favorite way to learn.

R       The first man I ever loved carried the initials R.W.C. My Grandaddy was the sweetest man, he was also damned cantankerous…but I liked that about him too. He taught me how to stand up for myself and let me argue with him and took me to father-daughter dances and he made coke floats for Brookie and me because we didn’t like root beer. He took care of me even when he didn’t have to and he loved me like nothing you ever saw.

S        I am thankful for sunshine.

T        My accidental best friend…found sitting on the sofa one cold night. She is the other half of my brain…even though distance and time have come between us, that feeling didn’t change for me. T is the one…my true soul mate. I love her the ocean wide, forever and ever amen.

U        I’m thankful for umbrage, the ‘shade from tree foliage’ definition, not the ‘resentment’ definition. As a child I was an enthusiastic tree climber, loved to be high in the branches, shady leaves keeping me cool. I love the trick of dappled light under trees, and though I no longer climb, I am very happy to spend time on the ground beneath them.

V       Well done Sister Suffragettes for working tirelessly to achieve the goal of Votes for Women! The 19th amendment is the ultimate Girl Power! We were given a gift and a duty…bring it ladies!      

W       The Wall Boys. C and GMcG quickly became at home in my heart not long after I began to love their dad. This wonderful young man and delightful little boy have enriched my life and I intend to know and love them a long long time.

X        Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla the pronoun song! Thank you Schoolhouse Rock for grammar rock and America rock and…well…all the rock!

Y        Time is a tricky thing, sometimes it knows things we can’t seem to…in this case, time knew it would take 38 years and a completely broken heart for me to be ready to love Ben. He arrived on my radar quite by accident as the boy who grew up yummy, but he made his way into my heart with purpose. He helped me rediscover that I am brave and lovable; he is teaching me how to be nurtured. He reminds me what it means to feel safe. He loves my babies as his own and shares his babies with me. He is the holder of my heart and I love him in ways I didn’t know I could.

Z        This is zany madcap humor. I’m thankful for the Pythons…for all funny things really, sense of humor is unique to each person, and I’m very grateful for mine, however twisted it may be.

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