By Christy Riggs
Published in The Burg November 25, 2021
Thankful/Grateful: “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received.” Two perfect words for the fast approaching Thanksgiving holiday. What am I thankful for this season? Let me count the ways:
FAMILY: From parents to siblings, spouses, your own children. To quote Michael J. Fox, “family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” Having a supportive, loving family is indeed everything. They are your soft place to fall and would be there in a heartbeat when needed. No. Matter. What. I don’t even know where I’d be today without my family - just writing that sentence brought tears. Now on the contrary, can they, particularly your children, make you absolutely crazy enough you wish to pull your own hair out? YES. Or better yet, “I’d rather poke myself in my own eye”, and “uh, NO! Leave me alone!” - timeless quotes used by both my kids even today! And my personal favorite? Door slams and bathroom hogging. Why yes. YES they can make me crazy. Would I trade it for anything in the world? Absolutely not!
FRIENDS: “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection”. I am blessed to have a huge pack of friends from high school I still either see or speak to on a weekly-ish basis. And another large group of dear, close friends that came with adulthood, although I use that term loosely. Not a real big fan of adulting (kinda joking, kinda not). My favorite friends quote is “friends are the sunshine of life.” They shine. I shine. We all shine. It’s a simple as that.
PETS: The power of pets. They too are family. Currently my household has 3-year-old 100 pound black female lab Dixie, and a 4-year-old cat named Bella. Bella LOVES Dixie. They cuddle all the time and share a bond that….alright no. That’s a bold faced fabrication. Bella beats up Dixie with her clawless front paws when she gets near her and hisses. Dixie tries to be friends but Bella will have nothing to do with it. But. These pets bring us all so much joy, fun, and mess, and chaos. Dixie wants to be outside playing ball CONSTANTLY and has the loudest bark when ANYONE dares come home; while Bella’s food bowl contents never seems to satisfy her. Try having said 100 pound lab JUMP on your bed first thing in the morning! Talk about a wake-up call!
THE LITTLE THINGS: It’s the little things in life they are truly the BIG things: coffee in the morning (especially when it’s already made when you come downstairs), deep belly laughs, sunrises/sunsets, finding money in the dryer, quiet snowy or rainy mornings, just because flowers, “drink you in” type hugs, giving and receiving smiles from strangers, sitting and just being in the moment, the beach. This list can go on and on and on.
Bottom line? Life is fleeting. The world is a scary place at times, such as now. We have today. TODAY. Smile at that stranger. Hang with your family and friends for those needed hugs and healthy belly laughs. Overfill the cat’s food bowl so she leaves you alone for 5 minutes, grab a cup of coffee and watch that sunrise. “The more grateful you are, the more beauty you’ll see…”.
(Christy is an Abingdon native who has lived in The Burg for over 25 years. She is a Patient Advocate for OSF Healthcare and resides with her husband, and her two children.)