The mosquitoes buzzed fiercely in the Italian mid-summer air. The stage lights ran hot against my face as I watched the animator fiddle with the laptop. The music began with the classic keyboard melody and the first words slid across the screen.
“How ’bout getting off of these antibiotics…”
Instead of Alanis Morissette’s, it was my voice blaring through the speakers. I belted out the best version of ‘Thank you’ I could. It was karaoke night at the camp ground and I was dead set on winning the competition.
By some miracle, I did. And for days afterwards, the other campers would sing “Thank you!” every time they saw me. It was gratitude in motion. In the middle of summer vacation.
Gratitude is grand thing idea and not reserved for a single Thursday in November. It replaces sadness in a heartbeat when we remember all that we have. And as I pondered that moment on stage so many years ago, sweaty and mosquito-bitten, I am grateful for everything that has happened since then.
For where and who would I be without the thousands of people whom I have encountered in the years that followed? I am so very grateful for my friends and family, for my clients and service providers, for the helpers and supporters who have enriched my life in countless ways.
For my dear friend Tanja Bruch, who holds my hand in the dark — and in the light;
For my passionate partner in all things Klaus Polkowski, whose vast love and insight leave me breathless;
For my mama, who belly-laughs with me no matter the circumstance and who is a true soulmate on so many levels, even those unspoken;
For my dad, whose brilliant mind, caring and unceasing humor make me feel safer in this world;
For my stepparents, whose unshakable faith in me makes me blush;
For my sisters, who make me want to be a better person and who love me even when I struggle;
For my long-time friends, Lara, Malaika, Melissa and Amy, who remind me where I came from and who make me laugh even when I want to cry;
And for my children, Sophia and Jackson, who have taught me the meaning of life through their own inquisitive natures, exploration and evolution.
The mosquitoes have long gone now. The air has chilled. But the gratitude remains for All That Is.
To you all I say ‘Thank you!’, but I’ll leave the singing to Alanis from now on.