Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sharing Feelings of Gratitude

IMG_4502 (by Ateupamateur)

I mentioned the last few days that I had so many responses from my thankfulness post and "operation thankful" initiative. I have so many, in fact, that I think I'm going to take two days to tell them all to you. So, here is the first installment. Tomorrow, on the big day of thanks, we'll cover the rest. The listings today and tomorrow are a mixture of them all, and in no particular order.

IMG_4501 (by Ateupamateur)

First, I have decided to list the comments without names in total. Some of you signed your remarks, but many of you did not, and I respect the fact that you wanted to remain anonymous. Also, the intent, as you will remember, of this exercise was for all of us to feel a little more blessed by remembering other things we hold dear when we read through other's comments on the subject. You know - to make it one big BLAH BLAH BLAH for the holidays? Yes, you remember. So, I think no names will help you make it your own.

And, God help me, I am going to try to get all the responses in the post in two days. But, if I somehow fail at this endeavor, please know it is no reflection on your response. It just means I failed at that endeavor.

There were more responders on the blog itself than in the card responses - I think I will receive all 20 back when it's all said and done - a couple are still on their way here - you can see on the posts many of the people who responded to the blog comments. But, I thought you might want to see what made up the random 20 cards sent. So, in the spirit of no names, here is a breakdown of how I know them:

- one brother and his family
- one parent and family
- one brother-in-law and his family
- one step sister and her family
- one of my oldest friends and her family - we met in preschool
- one family of church friends
- three friends from undergraduate school and their families
- one former co-worker from when I taught school
- one of S's friends from grad school and his wife
- a friend I've known since we went to camp together when we were twelve
- three people who used to work where I am still employed
- two former colleagues from my last job at the DCPA
- a friend in the local arts community
- two friends from graduate school and their families

So, there you go. From all over. Really, I made it very, very random. And, as it turns out, that group of people span age groups, ethnicity, religions, political views, sexual persuasion, type of profession, size of family, gender, degree of curmudgeon-ness, children, pets and just about anything else you can name. They are a diverse group, and they are all very special to me. And, God bless them, they all responded.

Except the brother-in-law.

But I am still thankful for him. God bless him too. The sister-in-law took up the slack and responded anyway, which I very much appreciate.

IMG_9155 (by Ateupamateur)

So here we go - to get us started - some of the "one liners":

I am thankful for:
  • a wonderful and supportive husband, my great friends and family. I am lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.
  • old and new friends, real and true love, family, music, health, an interesting job and the holy trinity.
  • your blog because your photos make me smile and your commentary makes me laugh and I need both of those in my life. (Aw shucks, thanks!)
  • my freinds, family, animals and my health.
  • so much! I have so much to be thankful for! My son is my sweet little guy...always.
  • my daughter and all the rest of my family.
  • a family who spans four generations...and all the wine to keep us sane! 8 children under house. Whew!
  • the love of my partner who brings me joy every day.
  • an extended network of loyal family and friends.
  • the love of a splendid woman and wonderful children AND clarity about the future.

IMG_9154 (by Ateupamateur)

And, today, some of the longer responses:
I am thankful for:

- the people responsible for the Tivo, the cheeseburger and NFL footbal
- my wife who always keeps me laughing even when we are fighting
- a job that lets me go home at 5:30 every day
- a sweet, happy new daughter who finally allows me to understand what all the fuss is about with this parenting thing
- an electorate that sometimes votes for the right person in November
- parents who fly 3000 miles and spend all their time helping out around our house
- college friends who come up with clever Thanksgiving projects like this one.
Awww, thanks. I thought it was a good project, yes. But, of course, it's nice to hear others think it's a useful way to spend your time too. I should also point out that the above response was all written on one of those little cards. Now THAT'S talent.

IMG_9156 (by Ateupamateur)

Another lovely response from the parent of an adopted child:
I am, of course, thankful for all the things you are supposed to be thankful, friends, my job, my home, a place to live (there IS a difference between a home and a place to live) etc, etc. But I am choosing to say what came to my mind right away when I read your note. I am thankful for the fact that someone thought I could be a better mother to a little girl than they could be. I am very thankful for this person to show her faith in God to guide and direct her as she made the most difficult decision she ever had to make. We are not only thankful to have a very beautiful little girl (inside and out) but we are thankful someone gave us the opportunity to fulfill our dreams of parenting.
How sweet. Well said. What a lucky little girl!

IMG_9162 (by Ateupamateur)

And another:
I am thankful for human kindness. Remote controls. Modern medicine and pharmaceuticals. The Food Network. My job. Indoor plumbing. People who value a sense of humor. Progress toward equality for ALL. Brahms and Beethoven. 30 Rock and Mad Men. Thrift stores. Human differences. The Midwest. All types of ice cream and pizza. And so much more.

I am also thankful for choices. As a human, I get to make choices each day that are easy to take for I interact with people, what I say to others, what music I listen to in my car, when I smile and when I frown...

Case in point...every day I feed my cats kibble. And every day, they look up at me when I am eating my variety of human foods with faces that clearly say, "human mom, you get a choice. You are not fed mass quantities of brown, crunchy, meat-flavored food each day without option. We all love food, and you are so lucky that you have the freedom to choose what you feel like eating. Same with music. Note to you, Mom - we're tired of listening to Bob Dylan this week. So be thankful you get to choose what you eat and what you listen to. It's only the opposable thumbs that stand in the way of our taking that turkey sandwich away from you."

And then, I share my turkey with them. To share the thanks. It's a choice I get to make.
Very nice, my friend, very nice. Very "meta," no?

IMG_9163 (by Ateupamateur)

See what I mean - and this is just a few of the pile still sitting here next to me on the computer - all very thoughtful, true, human, wonderful responses! Here are a couple more...
I am thankful for our Creator and all creation. I am thankful that Jesus died for my sins and rose again to join our Heavenly Father. I am thankful for the gifts given by God to each of us. I too, am thankful for family - children, grandchildren, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins galore, and all the inlaws and friends. I am grateful to have a realtively healthy mind and body that allow me to independently function and contribute to society. I am thankful for you and your blog and for reminding ups of how bless we are.
There are many very spiritual people among the pile. This one was written (anonymously) with certain conviction that I felt made it speak also to being thankful for religious freedoms in this great country of ours.

IMG_9171 (by Ateupamateur)

OK - one more for today. Then we'll take a break from all this thanking until tomorrow.
I am thankful for...

...a job I love where we have strong, caring leadership and everyone shares true "team spirit"!

...oddly, the gift of the Internet which has allowed me to reconnect with school and college friends I'd lost track of years ago. Our reunions are the most incredible delight! Not many "almost 60 somethings" get to experience the job of a slumber party with High School girlfriends...guys and girls on teh beach where we were once 16...enjoying a bottle of wine as we watch the sun set over a & phone calls with your BFF from High School who now lives half a continent away. Technology is a wonderful thing! I'm tryly blessed to be in their company and to know them once again...this time for the rest of our lives! 'adopted' granddaughters. Without their parents' friendship, granddaughters would be an element missing in my life. grandsons. Having raised daughters, seeing the world open through the eyes of a little boy has been a delight beyond my wildest dreams.

...the good health of all my family and our extended family circle. In this He has TRULY blessed us all!!!

And, Amy, I'm grateful for your request. I could go on and on and I appreciate your making me aware!
And thank you, my friend, for making ME more aware. And all of us more aware of things that do make us truly blessed. In this season for thanksgiving. Because, no matter the circumstances, no matter the economy or the horribleness or the constant change all around us, we ARE truly blessed. Amen to that!

Have a blessed Wednesday. See you tomorrow.


  1. Thank you, brought a tear or two to my eye.

  2. What a wonderful project! Thank you so much for doing this. It helps me to remember some of the things I take for granted.

  3. This is just so cool, Amy. Thank you so much for making this happen. We're all thankful for YOU!


  4. I enjoy reading all of them. thanks for doing this neat project Amy and for helping us remember all the joys in life.


  5. All of these responses are so touching!


  6. I'm thankful that we are older yet all alive to spend the holidays together!!!!



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