“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Today, and every day, I am filled with gratitude for an alphabet of blessings. Some are big; others are small. Some are common; others are unique. Some create a framework; others create a patchwork. All bring happiness and color to my life; all make me come alive. I hope the same is true for y’all – that whatever you’re giving thanks for this holiday, it brings a smile to your face and joy to your heart.
It was tough to narrow down this last, really tough, and I love that. Because, truly, twenty-six letters will never be enough to express my appreciation. Let me try, though:
Animals that make our lives better and more fulfilling. Books that transport us into their beautiful worlds and resound with a glittery kind of magic. Charities that provide so much help, in so many ways, for those who need it most. Daydreams and wishes that light our creativity on fire and turn those sparks into brilliant flames. Empathy that allows us to treat others with kindness in a world where there is, too often, not enough of that to go around. Friends and family who support me unconditionally and make my life so much more special, just by being in it. Good health, which will forever be the most important thing. Hot chocolate and hot chicken soup, which not only warm my body, but also my memories. Imagination, which lets me travel to places I’ve never seen and discover things I’ve never experienced. Jasper, my furry little love, who has brought more happiness and companionship to my life over these past two months than I even thought possible. Knitting and crocheting – not because I have any talent in either, but because Gram did and that means I get to have her with me always, just by grazing a hand over one of the blankets she made for me. Lunch notes from my mom – twelve school years’ worth, all of which make me smile whenever I reread them. Music and song lyrics that speak to the soul and remind us we’re not alone.
Nantucket, which has inspired several of my books and given me a place to dream of visiting one day. Ordinary moments that are extraordinary in their own right. Photographs that are freeze-frames in time and let us relive “moments like this” all over again. Qualified and compassionate doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and teachers, all of whom impact countless lives with their work. Reading – not only books and news articles, but also the letters, emails, IMs, social media posts, and text messages that let me keep in touch with friends who might be far in distance, but never in thought. Shelters, both for people and animals, that offer a warm place to stay, loving care, and a voice for those who are trying to find their own. Television shows like General Hospital and American Idol, which have given me endless hours of entertainment, and, more importantly, friendships that will last a lifetime. Uniqueness – because life would be awfully boring if we were all the same. Ventnor, New Jersey, the place where I spent two weeks every summer growing up, the place that will always remind me of Grandmom Dot and Pop Joe, and the place I’ll always love with all my heart. Writing – my passion that only continues to grow and has gifted me with the most amazing experiences, getting to create stories in my head and meet the characters who write their journeys into my own, and also the most amazing people, a writing community that is, quite simply put, wonderful beyond words. Xylophones, guitars, drums, flutes, and all the other instruments that bring a melody to our everyday lives and make them hum with a new tune. You – all of you who are reading this, thank you for being in my life and changing it for good. Zealousness, because enthusiasm brightens every day.
That’s my alphabet of blessings. What’s yours?
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Wishing you all the most beautiful holiday! XOXO.