& when my 3 year old James drives me bananas, I’ll think of you, for you lost your 3-year-old baby girl to an unpreventable disease contacted through a farm animal at a petting zoo. I am thankful for James Thomas Rosella.
& when my sister & I argue, I’ll think of you, for you lost your innocent, heroic, & beloved brother in a horrific, sudden, & tragic murder in the Congo. I am thankful for my sisters.
& when I’ve had it with my husband, I’ll think of you, for you were promised marriage, babies, & then some, only to be left suddenly, undeservingly, & without a single explanation or reason. I am thankful for my husband.
& when I reflect upon the pain of my epidural only working on one side, twice, throwing up, sweating, & the other not so pleasant side affects of delivering babies, I’ll think of you, for you tragically, suddenly, & undeservingly lost your baby girl, just a few minutes after giving birth. I’m thankful for Hope Elizabeth Rosella.
& when I complain about my home being an absolute mess top to bottom, I’ll think of you, the homeless man, holding the sign on the side of the road, in the midst of monsoon season in 100 degree (plus) weather, for he has no place to call home. I’m thankful for my home.
& when I complain of my soft, not so flat, post pregnancy stomach that is now loose & rippled, I’ll think of you, for you’ve been trying every method under the sun to get pregnant for months on end with zero success. I’m grateful for my imperfect tummy.
& when I complain of my aching joints, back, & neck, I’ll think of you, mom, for you struggle day in & day out with your Parkinson’s. I’m grateful for my working body.
& when my knees hurt due to arthritis, I’ll think of you, Vince, for you are unable to walk, unassisted. I am grateful for my knees.
& when I am too tired to open my eyes, I’ll think of you, David, for you are unable to see this beautiful world due to blindness. I’m thankful for my eyes to see.
& when I’m tired of hearing endless complaints, I’ll think of you, Vince, for you are deaf. I’m thankful for my ears to listen.
& when I peek at myself in the mirror & notice gravity has taken over my breasts, I’ll think of the nourishment they provided my babies, as I was able to breastfeed them each for two years. I’m grateful for my breasts.
& when I notice my breasts are not what they once were in high school, I’ll think of you, my sister -in-law, & how you was diagnosed with breast cancer, how you lost your breasts, but not your strength, your bravery, or your courage. I’m thankful for my breasts.
& when I complain of how my two children fight & argue, I’ll think of you, as all you so desperately want is a sibling & a lifelong friend for your little boy. I’m grateful for siblings.
& when I complain about the heat & the boredom of being at home, I’ll think of you, for you have no place to call home, as you do not own a home.
& when I can’t stop my brain from thinking, my creative imagination from going on & on, I’ll think of you, as you suffer from dementia & all you want is to be able to remember certain words or phrases during conversations or how to get back home, but you can’t. I’m thankful for a sound mind.
& when I complain about not having the energy or drive to get my butt to yoga, I’ll think of you, as you go to boxing 3 times a week to strengthen your body, but require a corner man to get you through the class (or you’ll fall over), you have to muster up a lot of energy/ courage/ & strength to get there, & call a car service to drive you because you are no longer able to drive. Thankful for this flexible, strong, & independent body of mine.
There are things in my life I’d rather not remember, experiences that have ripped my heart out, & memories of things very unpleasant, but I’ll think of you, as you forget simple mathematics, birthdays, & you repeat yourself often. Thankful for a good memory.