December 3, 2009

OK, so it's no longer Thanksgiving, but I couldn't get this thought out of my head. On Thanksgiving Day, I recalled a poem I had written many years ago as a child, entitled "My House". I won't bore you with the whole of it, but here is an excerpt:

The house that I live in is not a new house:
There is a hole in the wall in which lives a mouse.
The carpet is worn from hurried feet,
And there is a stain on my favorite seat....

Many a day, many a night
I have spent in that house,
And I will regret it
When I have to move out....

Actually, that "house" was a gray single-wide mobile home, and by the time my family moved out of it, I was glad to leave it behind. Having a mouse as a roommate may sound whimsical, until it ran between my feet one night in the middle of a dark hallway. From the size of its shadow, it could have been a weasel. My heart nearly stopped.

My family tried to care for the things we had, but some objects inevitably wore out and there was no money to replace them. My mother had a white rug that lay under the coffee table in the living room, and after months of washing, it began to tear around the edges. The tears quickly widened into holes, but still we kept the rug. To this day, I vividly remember my (and my mother's) embarrassment as I spread that holey rug in the middle of the living room time and time again.

I could go on. But the point is that way back then I was thankful for what I had, even though it wasn't much. (I had friends who had less.) Now I wouldn't dream of living in any domicile that had worn carpet or too many nail holes in the wall--let alone a mobile home with a mouse. Recalling my childhood thankfulness last week was quite humbling, considering that I now own a new car and live in a gorgeous third-story apartment with bay windows and granite countertops. True, I still struggle to find happiness and fulfillment in my day-to-day life--despite the medication, depression still visits occasionally--but I can still be thankful for what I have: a wonderful husband, a baby on the way, a beautiful home, food to eat and clothes to wear.

And I am. Very much.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Thanks for reading.

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