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.
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.