Some people might call me guarded. Worse yet, others may say I'm cold.
As for me, I would label myself as emotionally detached. I avoid things that make me uncomfortable (even emotional scenes in my favorite shows [read: "Sex and the City"]) and use humor diffuse charged situations. I make light where there is often dark and shy from the serious.
There are reasons for it. Some of which I can acknowledge, some of which I don't (but could to a therapist) and some I don't know exist. Life makes us who we are and I know mine has done a number.
I share this with you because me being me can make for an awkward situation when it comes to things like Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude.
As my aunt prompted those at the table to share the things for which they were thankful, I heard things like "family," "sharing this meal with everyone" and "life." My grandma, sitting at the head of the adult table, was the last to answer before the grandkids, myself included, who were at card tables, had a turn.
The three letters were deliberate and succinct. They stung, as I thought back to this summer and the Sunday afternoon when I received the call that my beloved grandmother was in ICU. Heart issues was what they knew at the time. Issues that caused her heart to stop beating while she was at the dialysis clinic, requiring 7 minutes of compressions. Seven minutes seems like such a long time, a scary amount of time, to revive someone. She suffered cracked ribs and the cause (a bladder infection turned blood infection) left her foggy, stealing days away from her memory/
"Kimmy," my aunt said.
Goodness, how I hate that name. Kim, Kimberly, Kim Kims – all fine. Kimmy? Ugh. It reminds me of "Full House."
"It's your turn. What are you thankful for?"
"Starbucks," I said, spooning green bean casserole into Si's mouth. Stupid ass Starbucks. I am such an asshole.
True, there is a part of me that is really thankful for Starbucks. I require coffee, strong and black, to get through the morning. The store's egg white feta wraps are insane and even more so after a long run. A cake pop makes Miles much easier to handle at Target.
But when compared with CPR, it was clear that I fell considerably short in expressing gratitude.
And since it's the extra credit for the Another Mother Runner Striding through the Holidays challenge, I thought I would share five things for which I am thankful.
1. My grandma, sass and sweet. I am the woman I am today in part because of her. She is faithful, firm in her convictions and selfless.
2. The quick actions of the dialysis employees. My grandma will turn 89 in January. I know that she cannot, will not, live forever. I have hope that her fire and genetics will keep her with us well into her 90s. But I could not have that hope had they not administered CPR so quickly.
3. My health. Grandma's scare – the call that her heart had stopped, the hospital stay – made everything I went through with my mom fresh again. As a kid, I always knew that my mom's health would result in an early death. I might not be the perfect example of healthy living but I know my kids will not have to live with those thoughts.
4. My boys. Sometimes I can't live with them but I wouldn't want to live without them.
5. The running community. I moved to Fort Wayne in 2004 but it wasn't until I started running that I felt like I lived in the city. My life is richer (and my wallet poorer) for knowing these people.