I don’t often think in terms of gratitude. It is not in my nature. I am a fighter, a cynic. One who often finds things to criticize and then get noisy about them. Right now is one of those moments when I have stepped back from that…
I am grateful for my family. Every one of them. My wife, my daughters and grandsons mostly. They live with a sometimes foul mouthed cynic who is made even worse by the drugs that keep him ticking along. Not that I am some horrible person or anything. I am not that special. I simply know that I am not easy to live with and appreciate them doing so anyway.
Oxana, Yulia, Ashley, Billy, Daveed, Wade, Wesley, Eddy and my Nephews are amazing individuals in so many ways. It is an honor to be associated with them in any way, not to mention being related to them.
Additionally, I have this wonderfully odd group of relatives and former relatives who are friendly and supportive when I happen to run into them. They are too many to name, but I will mention Bob, Tom & Joan, and my cousin Kathleen. They and all the rest are inspiring in ways which I can not explain. I won’t try; It is something visceral…
I have friends all over the world. Not hundreds or thousands. Just a lot more then I deserve I think. But friends they are and for some reason insist on continuing to be such. Bruce has been there in one way or another since high school. He spent time with me while I recovered from a bone marrow transplant, as did other family and friends. He did not have to do that, but he did. It could not have been fun in any normal sense of the word, but we did have fun. And that is just one friend…. There are so many that have done little and big things for me and my family.
Loretta struggled through being the executor of my aunt Nola’s will. Jeff & Faith, Gary, Dan, Jon & Jenna and family. Bobbi who cared enough to do a Go-Fund-Me in my name when we faced the rather significant disaster of losing a building to a wind storm this spring. And those that contributed to it. It made a difference! It helped… I am grateful.
So many others that I am not naming here. So many others… . Alex who calls and asks questions about work related issues he is facing. He allows me to feel involved in spite of the fact that I can’t work anymore. Those questions stimulate me to recall and re-educate myself on technical issues that I would otherwise have no reason to dig into. It is part of what keeps me sane, and I think he knows it. His daughter Betya has become a long distance friend. A little girl who plays piano and makes chalk drawings on the driveway. Alex really calls just to check on me, I am pretty sure. A friend…
And then there is this world we live in. Amazing place! I step outside for a smoke now and again and every time I find something amazing. An insect strangely shaped or colored, a plant I never noticed before, the sky, the birds flying overhead.
I would be negligent if I did not specifically mention Daveed, my youngest grandson. I spend a fair amount of time with him and am therefor very familiar with him. He is amazing! All three of my grandsons are amazing! These little creatures who are going through their own version of what I, and all of us for that matter, went through already. Each in their own way. The diversity exemplified in just those three little individuals is itself awe inspiring. So very different, yet so similar.
My grandson Wesley is beyond description. Well into the autistic spectrum, unable to speak, he displays a view of the world which is so different that it can hardly be imagined, let alone described. Yet he displays compassion, empathy, and understanding which is different yet understanding just the same. One only needs to take the time to watch for a bit. To observe… I have this opportunity, and I am grateful.
I live in a country, and in spite of all its faults and quirks, I would not have lived anywhere else. I have been enough places to know that. Now days of course, now that my contribution to society as is normally measured has been truncated, I would consider living elsewhere: South Africa perhaps, maybe Segovia Spain, Irkutsk or Cyansk Russia…. or maybe someplace I have not been. It does not matter now…, for which I am also grateful. That is a form of freedom, and I do like freedom.
For all those experiences; The Marine Corps, motorcycle trips, technical rock climbing, track and field, basketball, vacations with my Mom, Dad and Brother. Just to name a few.
I have run out of time to write all I am grateful for. Were I to go on, I would spend the rest of my life sitting here writing. Nah….gotta get back in the fight. For fight is what I do, in my own way…
Yeah, it is time to be grateful, if just for a bit. Before I go back into fight mode…. Time to say thank you to any who read this, and to those that don’t.