Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm thankful for...

Contact lenses.

The unwavering loyalty (mostly undeserved) of my dog.

The ability to have heat when it gets cold.


Progress, the kind that means I can be single at 36 and no one dares use the word "spinster" in my presence. 

My family.  Always, ever, forever, my family.

My education and all the places that it's taken me.

Snow days.

That I can still play volleyball, even 15 years out of college and several (ok, many) pounds later. 

Did I mention contact lenses?

In case you haven't guessed it, today is "I'm Thankful for..." day in the Arkansas Women Bloggers ThanksBlogging challenge.  There are some fun blogging ladies over there - head on over and check them out.  

Now, since we've being thankful, let's get serious for a moment.  This past Sunday, at work, I watched a theatrical play called Letters Home, created by the Griffen Theatre in Chicago - a simple and beautifully constructed piece of theater that, unlike a lot of what we present, had no song, no dance, no sequins, no jazz hands, no beer sales and very little pretense.  It was created from real letters...from real soldiers.

There were too many touching and emotional stories in the play for me to recount.  But there was one, about midway through the show, that took my heart and tore a piece off that I won't get back.  It was a thoughtful, intelligent, profound example of a human being, Mark Daily, trying to make sense of war.  Moments after the actor finished speaking, and turned on his heel to leave the light, words flashed on the screen telling us that Mark Daily was killed by an IED on January 7, 2007, in Iraq.

I'd been teary for most of the play; I always am when soldiers are involved.  But after that, I was a wet-faced, sniveling mess. 

I'm thankful for Mark Daily, and his thoughts, and the impact he's made - this article about him is well worth the read if you have a few minutes.

I'm thankful for theater that is brave and noble and so very difficult to sell.

I'm thankful for my colleagues at work, who were given ample chances to cancel this show because it wasn't selling, and because we would (and did) lose money on it; every single one of them said "I want us to do this show.  I don't care if the house is small.  I want us to do it."

I'm thankful for my sister-in-law, deployed on a Navy frigate as I write this, and my brother who sent her on her way even though they'd been married less than a year.   They are in my heart every day, and there are thousands of families like them out there that I am grateful for.

I'm thankful for a comfortable, safe, blessed life.

I guess I'm just...thankful.  And trying to remember to stay that way.


  1. Very beautiful post. I have a facebook friend (a friend of a friend...) who lost her son in 2009 in Afghanistan. We have so much to be thankful for.

    1. Oh my. That breaks my heart. Thoughts are with your friend.

  2. Very beautiful post. I have a BIL who spent a year in Afghanistan, and a friend from high school who is a marine and has gone to Afghanistan and Iraq several times. Anything having to do with soldiers touches me deeply.

    Also, contact lenses are awesome, especially fresh ones.

    1. I really don't know what I'd do without contact lenses. :) Hope all of your family who are serving stay safe and well!

  3. So touching. There is something stirred deep within us when we see servicemen and women being deployed or coming many will to sacrifice for us!

    1. You're right. It's really something special.

  4. What a great post. Thank you for sharing the amazing story about the play. And thank you to your sister-in-law and brother.

  5. I am thankful for your sister-in-law & brother for what they do for our nation every day too!

    Thank you for sharing them with us (and your other stories too!)

  6. The play sounds great. I'd have been a snotty mess too.
    P.S. Contact lenses freak me out, I can't even think about putting stuff on my eyeball!. :) I'm glad they're good for you, though.

    1. It's a weird thing with me. When I wear my glasses, I feel completely out of sorts, I lose all my confidence, I just want to hide. When I have my contacts in, I feel more like me. Weird, I know.

  7. Loved this post. We had 'Letters Home' in Madison a few years ago and I thought it was excellent. Talking about the military in a pacifist community brings its own complications, but Madisonians are generally empathetic people and the audience took to the perspectives of the soldiers. I don't remember how well it sold. We also did a school show for teens.
    Something I've learned over here is that Americans relate to war differently than Europeans; the US has not been occupied in the last 100 years, as many European nations have. In the States, it's easier to forget what servicemen and servicewomen are dealing with. (And on the other side, what the civilians in the other nations are living through.)
    And before I got my eyes fixed, I had that same thing about glasses and contacts. In glasses, I felt like I was behind a wall. I always felt much more normal in contacts.

  8. We did it for high schoolers, too. That was the best part. It's weird - I feel very in tune with military matters, but what I learned from the show (and the actors) is that most of the country doesn't - if you don't have a friend or family member in service, it's not on your mind. The actors kept using the phrase "1%" - ie, it's one percent of the country who deals with this."