Sandbox and bench at Evanston's Clark Square Park
I'm grateful for my husband who puts up with my shit and who brings home the beautiful red coat that keeps me warm on a long walk to clear my head.
I'm grateful for forgiveness.
I'm grateful for every day I have with my daughters, who make me happier than anything.
I'm grateful for time alone.
For every moment I have had with those I love.
For funny emails from my cousins and nieces.
For the sweet curve of the walkway that takes me out east toward the lake, away from the shade of the trees and houses around the girls' school and back into the light of the setting sun.
I am grateful for Julie and Bobby, their kids and Julie's sister and Christina and Mike and maybe another couple friends of Julie on the way here today with too much food and all their stories to celebrate the day and drink too much and spend the night and make me laugh in the morning even with the pile of unwashed dishes and not enough sleep or Tupperware.
I'm grateful for the resilience of my marriage and the power of thought and language to hang on to his last squeeze of my hand before sleep and the good medicine of a tight hug and to meld this persistent love into "resilience" rather than squint at it and see evasion, denial, or avoidance of the rough patches.
I'm grateful for two kind counselors giving it the old college try and being only a phone call away.
I'm grateful for wise and calm professionals tenderly teaching my children.
I'm grateful for the stuff of this sweet old world, the pleasures of beautiful yet comfortable bras that seem the product of aesthetic engineers rather than seamstresses, of Smashbox's Photo Finish lipstick in a browny-pink color called "Exquisite," of my brown Merrells with sheepskin lining that Dear Husband also selected for me, of Mapquest when you need it and of the sweet burst of pomegranate seeds.
I am grateful for every single phone call from my dear brother.
I am grateful for everything Aunt Ruth and Uncle Phil were able to give me. Happy Birthday, dear Ruth!
I'm grateful for kind strangers, for the quick communion that springs up with new acquaintances and for persistently loving old friends.
I am grateful for the persistence of love.
I'm grateful for the reviving power of long walks and how each step loosens the tangle of my thoughts and gives me the idea, "Straightening out the spaghetti doesn't make it taste any better."
I'm grateful for a holiday to celebrate this abstraction of gratitude which goes where? but back to ourselves, giving us back as much pleasure and balm as we send out.
And of course I am so very grateful for you, my dear readers. Thank you so very much for reading.