Count your blessings, for they are many.
I have blessings. I have gifts in life that I am never going to be capable of giving enough thanks. I can’t count them on one hand. I can’t count them on both hands. I don’t even think I could count them on my fingers and toes combined. I’ve tried. I can’t count that high. I think it’s like 42.
It is hard for me to keep my eyes open to the positive most of the time. I’ve got a pretty dark mind. It spends an inappropriate amount of time examining all the things that I don’t like. Things I don’t like about myself. The things I don’t like about the world. The things I have no control over.
My mind is lazy and fearful. It wants to spend time staring at the darkness it cannot change so that it doesn’t have to face the things it can.
I’m not serene.
That’s why it is so damn important for me to remember the things that I am truly, joyously, grateful for in my life.
I was up against a pretty hard wall this year. I was broke and unemployed. My own emotional turmoil was making it harder and harder to find a way back from the brink. I was worse than I had been in a very, very long time. I was spiritually drained and numb. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do or how I was going to get back from that razor’s edge.
My parents didn’t hesitate.
Even though they couldn’t afford it, they sent me the money I needed to make the move across country to live with them. They gave me the leg up I needed to reboot my life. They even bought me new clothes and helped me rewrite my resume so that I could find a job a bit faster. They didn’t ask for anything in return. They just gave me the hand and helped pull me up.
I forget, sometimes, how blessed I am to have them. I am constantly giving myself reminders of how lucky I was in the parent lottery. I have the greatest parents in the world, and I am prepared to go fist and tooth against any who would try and dispute that claim.
I see it in them constantly when I am around them. I can watch the way they still make whatever sacrifices they need to for their four children, all of us grown-ass adults that should be taking care of our problems on our own by now. They’ve earned the right to say no to us, time and time again.
They never will.
I’ve never told them, but there have been times when I’ve been in a very, very dark place. Yes, I live in the dark a lot, but there is the dark and then there is darkness. There have been times when I was chest-deep in that darkness and the only reason I’ve kept walking was because I owe it to them.
I’m not a very ambitious person, and that’s okay. I want a life that is comfortable. I want to do my part to make a better world, maybe just, you know, rule it a little.
I don’t much care for what happens to me most of the time. As long as I am fed and have a roof to keep the rain off, I’m okay. I’m surviving and that’s enough for me.
The reason I keep striving to be better isn’t for me.
It’s for my parents.
I see how much they sacrifice, and I know that if I can just keep working towards something greater, I can give that back to them someday.
I know that I’m not the only one in my family that feels that way.
I will never be able to even out the scales of life between my parents and I. Life isn’t meant to work that way. Life is meant to be paid forward more than it is paid back. Maybe one day, I can make sure they don’t have to sacrifice anymore because I will be the one that can sacrifice for the love of my family.
And I will, because my parents showed me what it means to be kind, generous people. They showed me what it means to truly care for your neighbors, friends, and family.
They’re the ones that really show me honor, in every thing they do.
Damn it. Now I’m all teary. This wasn’t supposed to get teary.
Okay. So that’s one blessing. It’s the most important blessing, I suppose.
I hope that I never forget to count it.