‘Tis the appointed time of year to express our gratitude for those far and near. A time to remember the good and bad then eat the best meal you ever had. And that’s it, no more rhyming after that last line. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
I am thankful for:
- a relationship with God. I am a better man through my faith and feel lighter in my soul. Still stumbling, I pray I never fall again.
- my beautiful, loving, somewhat silly, occasionally nagging (mostly my fault for getting too involved in a story), surprisingly witty (it’s like she ambushes me with quips and snark) wife. I can sincerely say that I although I don’t miss her throughout the day (I am terrible at romantic sentiment) I love her a little more each time she comes home.
- Ameenah Rose. This intelligent, thoughtful kindergartener will always have the distinction of being the miracle baby that made me a father for the first time and started me down the road of truly wanting to be a more considerate person. I am not ashamed to admit I cried more than she did when the doctors first handed her to me. Big cartoon tear drops and snot to the point this minutes old baby stops crying and stares at me for a moment as if to say “dude, gimmick infringement.” Though I have not seen her in person in just over a year, God says the same she will be spending Christmas with me this year.
- Ameenah’s mom. There were some rough patches getting to this point, but we are in a better place where conversation isn’t like extracting molars nor leads to phones being hurled across the room. I am beyond grateful that she has been a wonderful mother to my first born and has had to do more than her fair share of raising the little princess that is simultaneously gorgeous yet the spitting image of me.
- Angelika Lillie. She drives me nuts sometimes and it’s probably because I spoiled her so much in a sublimated desire to compensate for not being more involved in her older sister’s life. Gelly, as I am fond of calling her is just full of equal parts joy, laughter, teenage-like mood swings, sweetness, surprises, compassion, anger, obedience, defiance, and social commentary. It’s hard to stay mad at someone like that as she navigates so much sensory input on a daily basis and has to daddy that spends a little too much time staring at words on a monitor.
- Aiden Jordan Darnell. Third times a charm, right? I would still love him even if he ended up being a girl, but I am overjoyed that I have another guy in the house. Barely 2 and he’ s such a little man. Arleady wants to grapple all the time and has on occasion pulled the bigger kids to the ground. You should see this kid’s arm bar game. Like his sisters, he loves to sing and dance – even if the dance sometimes transitions into an impromptu match.
- my mother and grandmother. When poor decisions, lack of hindsight, and a series of miscommunications transformed me into a boomer rang kid, they opened their door to me and though we are experiencing a bit of a rift in our relationship, I plan on repaying them ten fold as soon as possible.
- Aunt Darla, my grandparents-in-law, my mothers-in-law, and any other member of my wife’s family that helped us over the last couple of years. You are the reason none of my biographical blurbs have to include the words “lived on the streets for a period of time.”
- my church family for every prayer, every pick up/drop off, every dinner made or paid for, and all the love they sent us on a daily basis. We couldn’t ask for better people in our life if we tried.
- my wife being afforded the opportunity to pursue a passion of her own and that her infectious joy and good work ethic are already paying dividens at her new job.
- the opportunity to make a final push to support my family with my writing. Few things(world peace, a annual grappling tournament, innovating some technology that helps people walk again) would make me happier than being able to never worry about a late rent payment, undersized clothing, or any host of issues a younger me would have taken for granted because people like you like what I say enough to throw a few quarters at me. You don’t have to make it rain, but a drizzle is everything to a man in a drought.
Take time out to say thank you to someone in your life. Call them, text them more than an emoticon, or if you can, stop by and give them a slice of pie. God bless you all.