“A Feeling of Appreciation or Thanks”

Gratitude. Webster defines it as “a feeling of appreciation or thanks”. Seems pretty straightforward, simple, right? But when trying to express to an audience what I have gratitude for it seems a difficult undertaking, as the numerous things I am grateful for is quite extensive. I am grateful for many things in my life. The more basic things that one might take for granted in an everyday busy life, things like shelter from the elements, heat, lights, clothing, food. I also have gratitude for my health, intelligence, the ability to learn, the ability to work, my family. Those things that allow me to have the life I desire. I am so very grateful for my mom. My life would not be possible if not for her. She is my rock, my foundation. She is love incarnate. But, I am grateful, grateful so that my heart is sore and breaking, that in this rough life I have felt such tenderness as the love I have for my children. I could never wrest from myself the same emotion for another being. In the whole world, I love Lyla and John the most. The children I always dreamed of. I alone am allowed to hold them at length. They are the only two people who know what my heartbeat sounds like from inside of me. We enjoy a special sympathy, communion, a dependence that goes deeper even than the unsounded depths of mother and child. They are never out of my imagination, when I envision myself somewhere or doing something they are always with me. And it is quite a damn shame that they must be punished by my supposed bad choices and the decisions of the justice system that they have to be separated from me and are deprived of this love. I am grateful they have another parent who also holds this deep love for them who can take care of them until my return. I am grateful that I worked as hard as I did to build a life I am proud of, one that my children can be raised in and reap the benefits of my hard work. I am grateful that my hard work will hopefully prevent Lyla and John from ever knowing the struggles I’ve known, the poverty I’ve known, the lovelessness that I’ve known. I am grateful God chose me to be their mother. Gratitude, a feeling, one of appreciation or thanks. It is quite difficult to express just how much appreciation I have for these things.

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