Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to the people I love


Most mornings - and occasionally some afternoons - I wake up in my bed in my apartment in Tonawanda. I love where I live. It’s a stone’s throw away from the Niagara River, or it would be for someone who were better at throwing stones. It’s also not far from the Erie Canal.

Before I even get out of bed, I check my phone to see if I have any text messages. I almost always do. It might be simple “hello” or much a more pressing issue that needs to be dealt with, but before I was even awake, someone was thinking of me.

My phone sleeps on the pillow next to me. In truth, it sleeps very little. Because anyone that knows me knows that I sleep very little. I’m not sure if it’s the thoughts rattling in my brain or the gallons of coffee I drink every day, but I don’t get my recommended dose of sleep, I’m sure of that.

When I do decide to get out of bed, I stumble into the kitchen and pour myself a cup of that coffee. Always with sugar. Sometimes with milk. It depends on the temperature of the coffee. I like Folgers. Or Maxwell House. Or Hortons. Or whatever. As long as it’s coffee flavored.

I take that coffee into my living room and sit on my couch - or my gliding chair if the couch is occupied - and check my email and whatnot.

More communication. Emails from people I know. Messages from people I don’t know. Friend requests. And even the occasional hate mail, which, in all honesty, always puts a smile on my face. No, I’m not being facetious.

I think a lot. Happy thoughts. Sad thoughts. Simple thoughts. Complex thoughts. Always thinking. Sometimes I wish I could shut if off. Just like sometimes I wish I could sleep.

Some days I eat before going to work. Some days I don’t. For that matter, some days I eat. And some days I don’t. My oldest daughter will occasionally text me just to remind me to eat. I usually haven’t and thank her for the reminder.

My phone is constantly chirping. Text messages. Instant messages. Emails. Seriously, as I typed the word “emails,” I received one. It’s 3:19 a.m. as I type this. And I just got an email.

I don’t get many phone calls. But that’s because most people have figured out that I don’t usually like to talk on the phone. That’s got to seem odd, considering I talked for a living for seven years. Or maybe that makes it less odd. But people take into consideration that I’m usually more comfortable with email or text.

It astounds me that in a world with 7 billion people, anyone would take time out to consider me. But they do. Today I spoke with at least a dozen people who asked how I was - and genuinely wanted to know.

I have a lot of “things” that I could be thankful for this year, but that which I’m most grateful for is the people in my life. Some have been there since grade school. Some only became part of my life recently. And of course, my mother has been there since day one. But all have their role. Just as you have yours. And hopefully, I have a role in your life as well. Even if it’s just reading this column each week.

Happy Thanksgiving. I love you all.