I was born 50 years ago today. My birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day and my sisters still remember Aunt Lily taking over on the Thanksgiving Day meal as dad took mom to Mercy Hospital in Gary, Indiana for my birth. My sisters still remember getting the phone call from dad announcing that another little girl had been born and how they danced around the table with joy! I love to picture them dancing around the table! And by the way, I was born in the same hospital and in the same city as Michael Jackson, Michael being older than me by a few years!
The story that mom told me again and again about her pregnancy with me is that she craved WATERMELON. She had very strong cravings for it! In the summer, my dad would happily come home from work with a big watermelon in his arms to appease her cravings. All summer long, her cravings were easy to satiate. But once the warm months were over, my dad would go on mad frantic searches for watermelon. Sometimes he scored, sometimes not. October and November must have been rough months for my mom without her daily watermelon needs. Today this would not be an issue because we can get watermelon all year round. In the winter, our watermelon either comes from California green houses or from South America. At any rate, I was born with a great love of fruit and, yes, I do love watermelon!
And since my birthday always coincides with Thanksgiving, my special day has always been a day of reflection on gratitude! I am grateful for so many things and here are a few of them:
I am grateful for my parents, who they were and the many gifts they gave me: the gift of seeing humor in difficult situations, storytelling, their rich Sicilian heritage, a sense of history, love of gardening, growing roses and other flowers, growing organic vegetables, love of cooking, love of eating good healthy food, love of earth and nature, love of family, reaching out to community and those in need, doing good, and the ability to work diligently. I am thankful for the education my parents selflessly gave me. Even though they only had an 8th grade education, they dreamed of having educated children who would have a better life than they did. And that is what they did! They gave me a better life than they could ever have. I am forever grateful for the incredible sacrifices they made for me, so that I could blossom into who I am today!
I am grateful for the community of friends I have who consist of loving, kind, and compassionate people who really want to make a positive difference in this world.
I am grateful for my husband, Rick, who has walked the path with me for the past 23 years. Together we walk, sometimes stumble, and, many times, float and fly together. Yes, together we tread this lovely path called life. His love for me is a big solid ROCK, my love for him another huge solid ROCK. These rocks stack to make a perfectly balanced cairn.
I am grateful for my good health and the gift of yoga, a discipline and life philosophy which helps shape me and helps me to cultivate an awareness and appreciation of every precious moment of life.
Yes, on this first day of the second half of my life, I feel a deep gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for.
Life is an incredible gift.
Today is beautiful.
This very moment is perfect.
May every day be a day of Thanksgiving!