Sunday, November 11, 2012


It is the eleventh day of November...orphan awareness month, the month of Thanksgiving.  As the month has marched on the past eleven days, I have read Facebook status after status of the things people are thankful for.  It is interesting, for numerous reasons, to see for what people are thankful.  I have not participated in this, though I don't disagree with the concept, but it really has made me consider what I am thankful for. 

I mean, I guess what we are thankful for, in it's most deconstructed definition...are the things that make our life better.  Yes, in my opinion, this can be both good and bad.  I am thankful for the crappy MCAT score in 2005 because otherwise I would not have made the friends I did at Ross and been on the path to being a pediatric intensivist... I am thankful that I did not get pregnant when I wanted to because of the beautiful sons I have now, for the other children that have been adopted as a result, for racial divides that have been crossed....

Yet when I really think about the things I am most thankful for, even the seemingly bad things, are people.  Don't get me wrong, I am "thankful" for the THINGS that make life better.....iPhones and chocolate and 90s music and nice stationary and clean water and my health and Disney movies and diet coke and my down comforter and good pizza and a quality ink pen and my hair after a salon day and Reef flip flops and ice cream and ceiling fans and any kind of dip and perfume and journals and Christmas decorations and my yoga pants.... even the "things" which I value most....the things you run into fire for, that do not have a value on a homeowners policy... all of these are tied to people.....For instance, my blue quilt and handmade corduroy bear were made by grandma who is long gone or Christmas traditions because my mom handed them down or my dad's US Navy dog tags or my dad's family cookbook or photographs, each with their own story. 

I am thankful for a husband who more than tolerates me, more than loves me but does laundry and is both mom and dad more days than not and likes to mop floors and even though he gets mad at drive thrus once a week, which speaks to my cooking and yet another reason he loves me too much, he is integral.  For him I am thankful...  For my mom for teaching to give, to celebrate, to have fun.... and my dad for work ethic and refusal to give up.... and my sister for reminding me not to take myself too seriously....For my in laws and their love of me and my family and encouraging me and helping with our kids.  Daniel and Denise who think are children hung the moon as they throw things across the room.

For my dear dear friends.... Emily for being steadfast and so different from me that it works and Jacqueline for making me demand more of myself and Sarah for a glimpse to my past and Erica for just being easy and the endless ramblings that are comfortable as if we have always been friends.... For Heather in her love for my family and being just like JT and both getting and pretending to appreciate my card obsessions.  And Taryn who loves my boys and is here at a moments notice with coffee and babysitting, even when she would rather be at a Kappa Delta function.  For Eunice and Paige and their role in my becoming who I am as a doctor....for not letting me sell myself short. For Erin, who continues to be both a mentor and friend to me...and Kate for seeing in me something before I saw it in myself.  For Brittney who has seen me through 2 adoptions and loves me despite my inability to contribute any food to any party we have. And Amy for her open door policy and lack of judgment and forgiveness of foul language and telling me I am smart when I am anything but.  My other Britney, who loves me, even when I do not pluck my eyebrows or get my hair cut on time.   These people, and others along the way that I am clearly leaving out....they are the real reason life is better.  They are the real reason to be thankful. 

You see, I have stopped finding it coincidental when I meet someone who changes my life a little or a lot....I have stopped standing in awe when I can connect the dots to how and why I met a person and how it changes my life, the course of my future, and makes the future make sense.  I believe God uniquely and purposefully orchestrated each relationship, each encounter, and we should all take them a little more seriously. 

Days 1-30 of Month of Thankfulness: I am thankful for my people.
(even if I did not list you by name, please don't think it doesn't matter.... I promise you do.)

"Let me be grateful to people who make me happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom "
- Macel Proust

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