A Little Bit of Thankfulness (But Not Gratitude)

I don’t know what it is. I like the term thankful. But I dislike the term gratitude. When I hear gratitude, I think of journals. Gratitude journals. Which, in turn, makes me think of The Oprah. And suddenly I’m barfing up my internal guts. Just not my thing. Too touchy-feely, too hipster new age, too soccer mom.

It’s this:

Thanks, no.

So let’s call this thankfulness. I can do thankfulness.

Today, it’s not about me, it’s about my neighbors.

Little history on them…There is a mom and a dad and two very young daughters. They are unconventional to some, she is the breadwinner, he stays at home.

I can think of few parents I know of that are more dedicated than him. Actually the most familiar sight I have of him was driving by and seeing him painting the house/mowing the lawn/cleaning the car while his daughters ran around doing what kids do. Their house was, of course, meticulous.

We weren’t close at all. You know, it’s 2012. Who even knows the names of their neighbors anymore?

But we’d wave, he’d bring them by trick-or-treating and the girls were always shy and well-behaved. Sometimes grandparents would visit.

And then disaster.

His wife ran into legal problems. She’s a money lady and was accused of something illegal. I don’t know what, don’t really care. I never paid much attention but did see a news van parked outside once or twice. So illegal and juicy. 

Soon after, they divorced and the kids, pouf, were gone.

The house quickly fell apart. In fact, we questioned whether he was still even there. The blinds were always closed, weeds sprouted in the front yard. He had, if you will, gone dark. But a mutual neighbor, who was also a friend of his, assured he was there but the house was in foreclosure. We seriously worried for his mental health.

Flash forward, now.

He, miracle, has been able to save his house. He got a job. And, as I write this with my window open, he is outside with his girls once again. Laughter and playful screaming is filling the air as they chase their dad around the newly manicured lawn.

So just maybe hurt feelings have been smoothed and hopefully the parents have reached a truce of some kind.

All I know is that it’s lovely to hear the laughter again.
And, yes, I’m thankful to see a happy ending, even from afar. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, one last thing..

I’m also extremely grateful thankful for these little chocolate delights which will soon be in my belly:

11 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Thankfulness (But Not Gratitude)

  1. To me, ‘thankful’ has more positive connotations and comes from the heart, whereas ‘grateful’ suggests some sort of grudging, routine empathy for those less fortunate than ourselves. When I was a little boy, my siblings and I had to say grace before meals at my grandmother’s table and every prayer ended with a plea to help needy kids in the developing world. Every complaint that passed our lips would be met with a stern rebuke from Grandma, because those poor Ethiopians had it far worse than we did. Thus ‘gratitude’ was less about caring and more about social ritual and hierarchy.


  2. I love the way you write, without getting too touchy-feely somehow. It would be so easy to go there with a topic like this. My soul was replaced to make room for sarcasm but this just makes me smile.


  3. Can you please fix your subscribe emails? I’ve been wanting to get your blog updates in my email but it’s not working properly. Love your blog, would love to see you write more. ๐Ÿ™‚


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