It's so cliche (how do I do the little apostrophe above my e...so that you can sound it out???) to do an "I'm thankful for" post on Thanksgiving. We've been tracing our hands as turkey's for some 20 odd years now, standing in circles and saying we are thankful for our parents and our turkey that we just finished and colored orange and green and red. But regardless, there's something in the air this time of year. It makes us all look back in retrospect and look forward with open eyes. We ponder what might have been, what never was, and what may be. We think about love lost, and some of us, love found. At times, life is hell. Love is a blaze. Yet, they're both worth it.
I'm thankful for my story. My families story. Though we've been through hell. Though we've been poor, beaten down, homeless, apart for years, struggled, scared, hurt, I am thankful for that I've been able to be apart of a story that is so beautiful. A story that has been written so that we can hold hands and look back and see what we've become. I'm thankful that we've held each other up and we've crawled out of fires, knowing we always stuck by each other. We've bled tears, but we've poured more love than most ever have.
Out of that, I'm thankful that dreams that have been birthed. I'm thankful that at times, my dreams seem so unattainable. I'm thankful for the fight. I'm thankful for the strength.
These stories, the ones where the pages are filled with stains and tears and sweat and are frayed on the edges, these are the stories that have made me who I am. They have taught me how to love, they have made my heart strong and selfless (at times.) It's in those torn pages I've learned to dream and learned that a life that is not spent, a life that is not based on giving, a life that has no love, is a life not worth living. This is why my heart is soft. This is why I sometimes talk of love, when others wouldn't dream of it. This is why my throat closes, and my eyes water in certain moments: because I dream. I dream of a life where we give. Where we love. Where I love and give without being selfish. I think that's ok, no?
So, world: thank you for that. Mom, thank you, for you. Family, thank you, for bonds that are stronger than I will ever know. And friends, thank you. Thank you for the late night texts, the times staying up until 4am, laughing. Thank you for the silence. It's in those moments we are closer than any words could ever say.
And, for cliche sake, a lyric, written for my nephews, but tonight, it's for my heart.
"Go and find the girl for whom your love is selfless, someone who makes you helpless, to change the way you feel. Stay away from girls who always look so pretty but who's hearts just aren't fitting for the man in you I see. Could you remember that for me?
When you find yourself alone in times of trouble, reach inside you and above you, there's nothing He can't heal."
"...and hold your burdens, strong in these winds of life. May I find you, may we sit together when we're gray and old, on cloud nine."
Oh, and one more thing, I'm thankful for this island. Because, even now. it's writing stories that I never knew. It's bringing new people and new chapters into mine. And in those stories are relationships. Relationships I am hopeful for, relationships that I hope will grow, and relationships that I know I will look back on and be thankful for. I like that.