“What if you woke up tomorrow and had only what you gave thanks for today?” | Column | The Press and Standard

by | November 23, 2017 5:00 am

Last Updated: November 22, 2017 at 9:29 am

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Will it be a time to express gratitude for countless blessings, or just a day of too much stress, too much food, too much tiptoeing around the uncle who thinks he’s hilarious after a few highballs?
I read something the other day that hit home: “What if you woke up tomorrow and had only what you gave thanks for today?” Truth.
With that in mind, here are just a few things that create a grateful heart in me.
I’m thankful for Retin-A and whitening toothpaste, although I’m not sure that either actually work.
I’m thankful for homegrown tomatoes and tomato pie, which is so fresh and rich and tangy you have to lie down after eating a slice.
I’m thankful for people who accept my fragile, flawed self just as I am, and tell me so. We all need to know we’re loved despite our faults.
I’m thankful for running shoes, but do they have to be so expensive?
I’m thankful nobody ever comments when I cry in church, which is almost every Sunday. It might be when we’re singing “Softly and Tenderly,” or discussing the casserole ministry, but at some point I’m gonna ugly-cry. It’s embarrassing, but apparently everyone’s used to it.
I’m thankful for sunsets on the Edisto River.
I’m thankful for people who make me angry, because I always learn something from them and thus, something about myself.
I’m thankful for accordion files because otherwise Widdle and I would be buried under a mountain of receipts, tax bills, warranties, instruction manuals, bank statements and other printed material we can’t bear to toss. (Widdle still has his doe tags from 2002, but heck, I kept an invitation to a bridal shower I couldn’t attend in 1999.)
I’m thankful for friends who don’t ask, just show up. You know who you are.
I’m thankful for a husband who figured me out a long time ago, and sticks around anyway.
I’m thankful for my and Widdle’s good health. I know one day I’ll go in for a sore throat and come out with “the sugar,” so I’ll be grateful while I can. My dad always said, “If you have your health you have everything,” and he was right.
I’m thankful for exercise DVDs when I can’t be outside because it’s hot, freezing or pouring rain. In other words, when it’s South Carolina.
I’m thankful for “blackish” and “Modern Family,” and re-runs of “er” and “NYPD Blue.”
I’m thankful for grace, unearned but precious.
I’m thankful for my brothers. They pray with me, laugh with me and reminisce with me. Who knew when we were brawling in the trees (literally—they had a “no girls allowed” treehouse and I trespassed daily) that we’d be so close today? Maybe it’s DNA, maybe it’s because we’re the only three people on earth with the same memories.
I’m thankful for a mother who taught me that reading is life.
I’m thankful for grits and fried okra. My husband’s stone-ground grits, with cream, pepper jack cheese and an egg whipped in, will make you shout with joy before you faint from carb overload. Our friend Eva makes a unique pan-fried okra so good it will raise the dead. I’ve instructed her, if I should ever flatline, to take a bowl of that chewy, crispy, salty manna to my bedside, because I’ll **** upright and start eating it with my hands.
I’m thankful for Google, without which I wouldn’t know about lemur stink fights. Seriously, look it up.

(Julie R. Smith, who’s also grateful for eyeliner and Epsom salts, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.)

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