How to Learn the Value of Thanksgiving

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Miss it. I was contagiously sick. The kind you can’t hide because you sound and look awful and no one wants to get near you. 50+ years and this is a first I never wanted to experience, especially because my beautiful niece and her family were joining us at my oldest daughter’s apartment, something that doesn’t happen often enough.

Jill's husband, Chris, and my granddaughter Cait at a dance. He's one of the nicest men I know.

Jill’s husband, Chris, and my granddaughter Cait at a dance. He’s one of the nicest men I know.

My firstborn, Jill, whose smile lights up the city.

My firstborn, Jill, whose smile lights up the city.

AND, as if we don’t have an incredibly selfish amount to be thankful for, Jill couldn’t drink any wine because she and Chris are going to have another baby! Patrick  turned 9 months on the 16th, so the love that we are surrounded by continues to grow, and at the end of April we look forward to another healthy bundle of love.

My "baby," Jackie," and this tall guy hanging around her A LOT:) He's Drew and he's a great guy, too.

My “baby,” Jackie,” and this tall guy hanging around her A LOT:) He’s Drew and he’s a great guy, too.

To think, when I was pregnant with my second daughter, Jackie,  I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough love left, I just loved Jill so much.  I couldn’t imagine until Jackie entered our life how love is an infinite gift. It makes me think we should make every day Thanksgiving.

My niece, Nikki, and her handsome husband Jason. Nikki is the placeholder for my mom, dad, her mom and my brother, gone too soon-and she will never know what that means to me.

My niece, Nikki, and her handsome husband Jason. Nikki is my placeholder for my mom, dad, her mom and my brother, gone too soon-and she will never know what her presence means to me.

After all, we’ve long disregarded the true meaning of the holiday, and with all the nasty finger-pointing and meanness going around, we should awake every morning to a sign that says, “We don’t need turkey and dressing to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving Everyday!”

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Pox and Pax–there are no words.

Here are some of the people I missed so much it hurt my heart last Thursday. Some of the pictures were taken on Thanksgiving, others weren’t. And I don’t have everyone here.

But to all of you, I missed you as much as I love you, and I could not be more thankful to have you in my life. I am one lucky woman.

Cousins Caitlin & Brayden (Nik & Jason's son).. Friends for life.

Cousins Caitlin & Brayden (Nik & Jason’s son). Friends for life.

Jason & Nik's daughter, Brynlee. When I see her I get goosebumps. Mimi-mom.

Jason & Nik’s daughter, Brynlee. When I see her I get goosebumps. Mimi-mom.



It’s Worth Repeating & Remembering

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Yes, I saw it on a rerun of The Newsroom, but it’s worth repeating. When we knock someone else down—when we judge someone else—we don’t get any taller.

The 2016 campaign is heating up, and it also seems like people are getting more surly in general. I don’t know if that’s connected to what seems like a rise in people not being very nice.

But we all are imperfect. Let’s not forget that because it’s no excuse for saying things that aren’t very nice and then trying to justify the hurtful words. You can tell they are hurtful if the person you’re telling them to becomes sad. If you care, apologize.

If you don’t care, well, start buying shorter pants.

It’s a good line. Leave it to Aaron Sorkin. When we judge someone else, we don’t get any taller.

He Speaks for Himself

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His babble is adorable. His tears are heart-rending. One look and you go through every emotion in the most overwhelming way. Need I say more? Now this is how to start your week!

 

Patrick@9Mos.

Patrick Xavier Gattorna 9 whole months today!

p.s. it is also an excellent source for a writer with writer’s block. But now back to my homework.

Once you get started…

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it’s so much easier to be nice and not nasty. Sadly, that works both ways. Once you get started on the nasty route, it’s often too easy to stay on that and not quickly get your foot on the brake and turn yourself around.

We live in a scary, contentious world. Long before we put our condo up for sale, I wrote in marker over the closet (the first place you see when your eyes spring open) “Wake up with joy, then take it with you wherever you go.”

My granddaughter was mortified. Her very own grandmother wrote on the wall with a marker?!?! I finally completely understand the concept, “being beside one’s self.”

After convincing her it was erasable and that she should never think about doing it herself because I was the only one on the planet that owned that particular kind of marker, she slowly got back to the point of the message—but I must add this was traumatizing. It took quite awhile for her to get her head around what Grandma did before she could think about what Grandma was trying to point out.

We laugh about it now. After all, she was only a young, unknowing 6-year old then. She’s all of 7 now, she gets it, and we talk about it often because she likes to sleep w/me when she stays over. The house didn’t sell, but we had to paint the room so the message no longer exists―physically. It remains as real and concrete as I imagine an algorithm is in a techies head.

Wouldn’t it be great if some similar thought could be implanted in everyone’s thoughts when they are most vulnerable and remain as tangible? We could shake them up enough so they wouldn’t forget and keep tcait+grammahe message alive so they wouldn’t forget.

Think about it. They’d get started on the right foot. Default is “kind.” Whenever that doesn’t power up, we know to call in a technician to fix the problem immediately because we know beyond any question something’s amiss. We’re able to catch it and bring someone in to fix it right away, and we’re right back to waking up with joy.

A little naÏve? No, a LOT naÏve, but worth thinking about every now and then.