This is a year to give thanks — for many of us, for many reasons.
But Toni Causey did it so eloquently that we’re giving her the stage today. Please understand that we can all sign our names to these sentiments. Personal details may change, but the heartfelt emotion of what we’re thankful for as writers, readers, and people, is all below…
I don’t think my list is terribly original, but it is deeply felt:
I am grateful for the health of my family. We’re all here, we’re all in pretty good shape, we have been able to visit with one another fairly often, and I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to have that, given that our parents are growing older.
I am thankful for the closeness we’ve managed as a family; we’ve had a blast with many family events, large boisterous affairs with everyone telling funny stories and riffing on each other’s comments and, generally, laughing and enjoying one another. I know a lot of families don’t have that, and we’re lucky.
I am so very grateful for my husband and children and friends. (And the Internet, which helps us stay in touch.)
I am grateful to live in a country where the average American asks, “What can I do to help?” when there is a catastrophe, like Hurricane Katrina. Where they give money and send boxes of supplies and feel horrified alongside us when the government fails so miserably. And where, in spite of the wish that the problem would just go away (as we all feel), they still help. Or where they volunteer for their own local programs, whether it’s literacy or being a Big Brother or Big Sister or many of the other deserving concerns. In spite of the fact that there is negative out there, people who profit off harming others, there are far far more people who help, who look at whatever they have, however little it is, and figure out a way to share.
I am extremely appreciative to live in a country where it’s not only possible for dreams to come true, but where we are encouraged to try. And to that end, I’m grateful for my dream coming true, of being able to write, having someone publish it, a company who seems to love the book and has hopes for it bigger than my own.
I am grateful that many years ago, my husband realized just how necessary it was for me to write, and how unhappy I was not doing so. He took me back to the university (and I was afraid to go back), and he said, “You are my greatest asset. I would be doing us both a disservice if I let you procrastinate on following your dream. You were meant to be a writer and that’s what you’re going to be. I believe in you.” He forced me to re-enroll, where I not only graduated, but ended up in the MFA program, landed an agent, and started a career. I don’t know that I would have been brave enough if not for his belief. I know I would have kept trying in my own small way, but his actions gave me access to the tools and teachers I needed, just when I needed them.
So what are you thankful for today???
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