Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

6-25-13 RMB Thank Yous

6-25-13 RMB Thank Yous

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

A friend gave me the book 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik. It sounded like my kind of book, but maybe a bit on the mushy side. It is not mushy. It is about a real man facing real problems. It is about how his life progressed and the part that gratitude played in that progression. I liked it enough to pass it on to another friend with high praise. 

John Kralik’s book moved gratitude to the forefront of my thoughts. I look for something to be grateful for several times a day. I would like to think I did that before reading his book, or The Secret, or books by Wayne Dyer. But we need to be reminded so many times to do what is best for us, best for all, before it becomes habit. I am sure his book plays a part in who I am today. I like how books do that.

I keep a list of things I am thankful for in a planner. It includes one word things, the sun, trees, names of family and friends, books, etc. These letters often contain my gratitude, to you and others. Perhaps they will contain more in the future, here, where I can elaborate more than one word gratitudes. For example, I am grateful for certain moments… 

The youngest one of my three adopted nephews was born to a mother who did not take care of herself, and thus did not take care of him, as he grew within her. He was born facing a struggle to survive, underweight and in need of daily breathing treatments with medication. 

A plastic mask was placed over his tiny face and a noisy pump pushed medication into his lungs as he breathed in the smoky substance. He hated it. Starting at only weeks old, it could not be explained to him that it was necessary; that it was done out of love for him. 

The one best able to administer this treatment was my friend and his new momma Maria, my hero, and this is part of the reason why. She loves enough to do what is necessary, even when it is difficult. She held the tiny boy and sang him Jesus songs followed by The Ants Go Marching One by One nightly as he squirmed and cried, trying to get away from the monstrous machine and scary mask. Eventually he came to know the songs. He came to understand that at the end of The Ants Go Marching One by One, he would be done with the treatment. 

I wish all of those that say a gay person should not adopt could have seen this…every night for months that stretched into years of various forms of medication and treatments. Maria gave his body life with those treatments. She gave him a life in her family. He was the first adopted, but not the last. 

There was another hero there. He was three, another boy who’s biological mother’s choices landed him under Maria’s care and eventually in her two mom family. The boys were not biologically related, but the older boy participated nightly, making faces, dancing a jig, singing songs, doing everything humanly possible to get the baby boy to smile, to let him know he was in the presence of those who cared. 

And sometimes, in his new mother’s arms, under that mask, through the smoky vapor, while listening to Maria sing, with eyes fixed on his new brother…a smile appeared.

With gratitude for witnessing it, 


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