That for Which I’m Grateful

Yummy KiltGood morning, MANhandlers! Today’s photo is one I came across that made me stop, stare and thank God for men, kilts and work boots. Enjoy!

When I received the topic for this week’s blog post, I thought, “Name three things I’m most grateful for? Easy peasy.” Turns out that’s not quite true. I think I wrote this post four times, and every time I started fresh, there were three new things in my life I found myself grateful for. I decided to go with the first version because, while it’s much more personal than I tend to ever get, it’s the most authentic. Here’s what I came up with.

#1: My Husband

It might sound a bit trite, but he’s the thing I’m most grateful for in life. There are too many reasons to list, plus I’d probably get all sappy, so let me hit the high points. First, that man loves me more than anything else in the world, and he makes sure I know it–texts, notes, voicemails, emails, flowers, surprise dates. He is a cuddling machine. He listens to what I have to say. He’s brilliant and not stingy in sharing the knowledge, so I’ve grown marginally more intelligent over the years. (Yay, osmosis!)

Above all, when the shit really hit the fan and I found myself in a very precarious emotional spot due to some serious ongoing health issues, he stood by me, behind me for support and in front of me as interference. He was where I needed him to be when I needed him to be there without my ever having to ask. He simply loved me harder.

This man has taught me more about love than I ever thought possible, and I am a better woman for having been his partner for eighteen years.

#2: My Friends and Family

thank you noteSo simple. So true. I have a very, very small inner circle of people who surround me. There are quite a few people who orbit the group, people whom I value, but those closest to me? There are only a handful. These are the people I can call at 3:00 a.m. when my old Labrador Retriever had a seizure and my husband was out of town, the person I meet at Starbucks in “our spot” and can count on to be honest no matter how hard it is to hear, the person who goes to doctors’ appointments with me so I don’t have to be alone, the person who calls and says, “My Spidey Sense was tingling…what’s wrong?” and the person who simply shows up with a cold Dr. Pepper despite her personal war against sugar and says, “You need a little sunshine, Denise. Let’s sit outside.”

I do my absolute best to be worthy of their friendship, be they blooded family or not. My life is richer because of these people who form the nucleus of who I am.

#3: My Writing

This one might strike you as odd. Let me explain. Several years ago, I lost my job after a back surgery gone wrong. My job had become my life. It was everything I identified with, everything I used to define the parameters of “me.” When those parameters crumbled, I was left a shivering mass of naked regret. A decade spent building a career — gone. Disability was suddenly an unavoidable reality, and I hated myself for it. For a long time, I sulked. I didn’t want to rediscover joy in life. I didn’t want to find new passions. I wanted my old life back, and was so busy looking over my shoulder that I nearly missed what was right in front of me. Remember my darling husband? He bought me a laptop, brought it home and said, “Write. It used to make you happy.” I sulked a bit longer, then got up in pain in the middle of the night and went to the living room. There sat the computer. I opened it up and wrote the first few pages of Legacy, the first book I sold. Writing helped me rediscover who I was, who I am, and it gave my flagging sense of productivity an outlet that I could physically, safely, manage. I found myself in the words when I thought I was lost, when things were so bleak for me that I went to a very dark place I don’t talk about. My imagination was unlocked and I found  my happy inside. How can I ever thank him for that?

Take a second and let me know who or what you’re most grateful for. I’d love to celebrate them or it with you.

Posted on October 30, 2013, in Denise Tompkins, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. *wipes eyes*

    My dear, beautiful, talented, Denise. You made me weepy with this post. Thank you for sharing so much from your heart.

    What am I thankful for?
    Computers. Writing on a typewriter would SUCK.

    I’m thankful for Twitter. Twitter has opened a portal to a whole new world for me. It has given me information, connected me with authors, publishers and editors, and has given me more encouragement than I can say. Twitter brought me to you (cue sappy music).

    Which leads me to my next “I’m Thankful For”….I’m thankful for you, Denise. Sometimes I think people don’t know how much they touch other people’s lives. Even the simplest thing can make a person’s day – smiling at a stranger on the street, handing a baggie of pretzels to a homeless person, giving a student a break when their life is crumbling around them. These are all things I’ve done. What you have done is far more touching. You opened up to me in a way that inspired my Muse to get her shit together. You befriended me and encouraged (continually) me to write what’s in my heart (and the voices in my head). You were interested, nosy and loving when I was trolling the dating sties for the man to enhance my life – the man who I found, the man I married. Now, as I settle into my role as wife, professor, mother, step-mother, I find myself jumping back into the writing world. I know that you will be interested, nosy and supportive in this as well. Please know how much of a difference you truly make in the lives of those around you. When I publish (WHEN not IF) my first book, know that you are one of the reasons I got there.

  2. Okay, I’m a bit verklempt. Oh, who am I kidding. My heart hurts and my eyes are leaking. I don’t know that anyone has ever said anything that has touched me this much, Ky. I’m so proud to see the amazing places you’ve directed your life and the love you’ve found. That you would share these milestones you’ve passed humbles me. No joke. And that you’d value my encouragement so much, that you’d value *me* enough to publicly lump me into the things and people you’re thankful for? I just don’t have words.


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