I won’t be speechifying in acceptance of any Oscars or Nobel Prizes or Pompanula County Radish Queen tiaras any time soon, so if I want to let anyone know how much they’ve meant to me it’s incumbent on me to just say so here and now.
Let’s face it, my manners are plenty peccable. I’m probably most often shamefaced because of failing to show proper gratitude. I have, after all, lived a charmed life and a large part of that is being spoiled with kindnesses of every sort without my particularly deserving any of it. I am grateful. I just fail too often to send the card, give the handshake or hug, or broadcast the news as the occasion demands.
So I’ll take this small occasion to publicly genuflect and say Thank You–with great sincerity, mind you–to all those benefactors who have made my life so rich. To do so by individual names would require more space than is currently available on the worldwide whatsis, so a generalized wash of goodwill must suffice.
The obvious first thanks are due to my immediate family and closest friends, unfailing in their love and succor and general exceeding-nice-ositude, who tell me how swell I am despite all evidence to the contrary and show admiration for my slightest accomplishment as though I had cured cancer or at least plantar warts. I’ve seen how other social circles operate, and while it might seem like it’s the job of one’s if&cf to slather one with undeserved buttercream icing, few really do with any regularity. So believe me when I say that I’m deeply grateful to you, O spouse and multi-parents, siblings born and married, niece and nephews and assorted close compatriots across the globe.
Not so obvious to outside observers are the cloud of wondrous beings surrounding me in person and spirit beyond the call of familial duty. Teachers: Mrs Clavey, an ideal encourager and educational springboard for kindergartners of every stripe; Messrs. Hartwell and Hartley and Cunningham and Keyes; Ms Watts, a teaching colleague who gave me the strength to keep practicing teaching myself when I could barely keep head above water. My physician Dr Larsen, who cured me of my fear of doctors by becoming a friend above and beyond the call of the Hippocratic oath. Neighbors willing to take time to answer the blue-sky questions of goofy little kids, strangers opting to pull over and change a flat tire, shopkeepers sharing their insider advice and jokes of the day.
I’m cognizant too of the many graces showered on me by exemplars past and present whom I’ll never meet face to face, the famous, the infamous (these, one hopes, generally teaching me How NOT to Do It) and those whose tracks I stumble upon out of sheer good luck. I thank you all for the parts of my life you’ve filled in with music, wit, flashes of brilliance, foodie joys, beauty, fortitude and other such extravagant gifts.
Given my mediocre track record in proper expression of gratitude when the occasion demands it, I can promise only that I’ll continue to know in my heart how ridiculously fortunate I am. Maybe if I’m additionally lucky, I’ll manage to pass along some of your generosity to someone else somewhere along my way.