Give Lincoln full credit. He was the guy who made Thanksgiving an actual holiday.
You gotta love it: the government mandating the obvious–for God’s sake, don’t think about what you don’t have, but instead, be grateful for all the blessings you DO have!
While I try to live that way day-to-day, it’s easy to get caught up in the busy pace of life and one of the first things that goes away is gratitude.
Everyone should hear the word Thanksgiving and begin thinking of all the blessings in their life. As I do that in 2017, I marvel at everything around me and just can’t believe this is all really happening to me.
First off, I have my health. As you get older, you realize more and more what a valuable commodity that can be. Seriously, if you don’t have good health, pretty much everything else gets thrown out the window.
Now, let’s take it a step further. Your health, and everybody else in your life that matters to you–their health. Oh, screw the minor aches and pains or the stuff that comes with getting older. The fact that 100% of the people you care about are doing OK? Just sign the Thankful Certificate and call it a day.
However, this year, I have another really big thing to be thankful for.
A couple of weeks ago, while putting together one of my Wacky Week Podcasts, I was listening to a tape from my KCMU days. That was the college radio station at the University of Washington that has since been sold to Paul Allen, who moved it over to KEXP at his MoPop Museum. But back in my U.W. days, it was where I cut my radio teeth. And one night, while I was showing off the radio station to a nursing student I was dating, I recorded a phone call she made to her mom.
The moment I heard it, I strongly felt she should be able to hear this recording. As I listened to it, the memory of that girl from 40 years ago came rushing back. Her laugh, her voice, the voice of her mom–it took me back to the mid-1970’s, when a 21-year-old version of myself was about to head out into the world.
But the way I remember leaving it with her was not good. I recall being a jerk, a legitimate asshole. However, because I felt she should have access to that recording, I searched for her on Facebook and reached out, really expecting the worst. Maybe she would lash out or just block me from contacting her on Facebook.
Instead, she couldn’t have been more kind and said she didn’t remember the caustic ending that I had attached to the last time I saw her. While I could question or contest that, I’m going with the flow and if she really has no resentment towards me, then I am beyond blessed.
I clocked in at 62 years in September. Dear God, that’s old. In my brain, I had done this girl a tremendous wrong as I headed out from the U.W. and into the working world. Four decades later, I find out it must not have been as awful as I remember. That truly was the only thing that, at some point in my life, I wanted to rectify, to apologize for, to amend for my behavior.
This girl was a part of my last year in college. She was a serious student. She introduced me to Fleetwood Mac. I remember she threw me a going-away party when I took my first radio job in Yakima. She was very, very kind. She LOL’d before it was popular. She was simply a very nice person. They really do exist in the world. And now I found out, after thinking otherwise for 40 years, she didn’t hate me after all!
And now, adding that to my 2017 list of things to be grateful for.