A Note of Thanks(giving) on Christmas Day

I didn’t do a post on Thanksgiving. And I’m not doing a post on Christmas. These times of the year used to be so special and precious to me. Now they’re just reminders of how lovely things once were and how alone I am now.

But I met a man in the grocery store Wednesday morning, a man who shook my world a bit and brought much needed clarity and perspective. I was in the produce section, picking out onions, when I heard singing. At first, I decided to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening. Isn’t that what most people sheeple do? I was having a pretty bad morning. I’d already been to the rheumatologist, where I had more tests done and more tests scheduled. Mention was made of an MRI and a specialist over two hours away. And I had crashed hard and felt heavily sedated from some new meds I’m on. So I was not feelin’ it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him. This little old man, small, frail, harshly stooped over. Pushing his cart at a steady clip and singing his heart out…and in a rather brusque manner, I might add. And I couldn’t help myself; I smiled broadly at him.

Are you laughing at me, young lady?

“No! No sir! I’m smiling, because your singing has brightened my morning!”

Good girl. Music is good for the soul. A little Nat King Cole is good for you.

He went right back to singing, and I do mean he was belting it out. The lady behind me, waiting to get at the onions, remarked, “I don’t know how anyone can be so happy in the mornings.” He heard her.

Happiness is a state of mind. I’m simply choosing to be happy.

I thanked him for bringing a much-needed smile to my face.

He wandered off, seriously pushing that cart hard and fast. He was on a mission to get his things and get the hell out of there. I saw him again on another aisle at the other end of the store. He was still singing his heart out.

“Hello again,” I greeted him.

Why, that’s a song, isn’t it? I do believe you have music in your soul, young lady.

I grinned at him and thanked him once more, letting him know how pleased I was with his music and spirit.

Thank YOU. For seeing me, for hearing me, and not just seeing a crazy old man. Merry Christmas to you.

“Merry Christmas.”

Oh no, I’m far too old now. My Christmas passed away years ago.

And he pushed his cart away, resuming his singing and heading for the checkout. I stood there, frozen in place for a few moments, mouth slightly agape and tears coming unbidden. His last words broke my heart. And yet, his spirit endures in spite of his loss and pain. He went into the grocery that morning and sang his heart out, not necessarily to spread joy but to maintain some within his own heart.

I saw him at the checkout, as I stood there. And he stopped singing momentarily and asked someone I couldn’t see, “Are you laughing at me?…You’re really laughing at me? You think I’m stupid, don’t you? Well you’re a jerk!” Then he picked his song back up and continued singing.

I saw him again as I was driving home. He was walking with his groceries. My heart sank. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t get to him in the traffic. I glimpsed him in my rear view after I passed him by and saw him darting across the road to some assisted living housing.

I don’t think he has any idea how he touched my heart, but I hope so much that he felt the hope and peace he gave to me. And the important reminder that happiness is an action as much as a feeling. We have to seek it out, work for it, find it in the little things (that aren’t so little after all), appreciate it…and share it.

So thanks to that angel of a man, I’m going to choose to be thankful today rather than moping around feeling sorry for myself. I’m going to at least try to be present and thankful. Because even at my lowest, I have much to be thankful for:

I’m thankful for you, my awesome blogger buddies. My Peopleaneous. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you cry with me, you crack jokes with me, you share your music and your lives with me. You come and check on me and show so much patience and understanding when I crawl into my cave and don’t reply to messages or emails for days. I’m more thankful for you than you know.

I’m thankful for being welcomed into the geek fold at work. I don’t get to talk with them often, because we’re in different parts of the building. But it’s nice knowing there are people there who are friendly with me and actually enjoy my company from time to time.

I’m thankful for luxuries like running water, central heat and air, a working washer and dryer, a home with a solid roof and a comfy bed. I’m thankful for a running fridge, stocked with food.

I’m thankful for my two cats, one of whom is my cuddle buddy every single night. He snuggles and purrs and makes me feel needed.

I’m thankful that I wasn’t born in a country where I’m being shot at or bombed every day. Where I don’t know when the next time I’ll have clean water or a full belly will be. Where I’m not allowed to educate myself or speak my mind.

I think of a lot of silly things I’m thankful for: like #2 Black Warrior pencils, double A batteries, flip flops and Welch’s grape juice. I’m thankful for butterflies and tree frogs and dainty earrings and belly laughs.

I hope that you lovely people will take time out of a day (usually) filled with lots of gifts and things and sometimes a lot of stress and personality clashes: take time out and remember to be thankful.

be thankful

Happy Holidays, y’all.

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119 thoughts on “A Note of Thanks(giving) on Christmas Day

  1. Thank you for such a heartwarming post! It reminds me of those important things, the ones that we should be grateful for, rather than the things that seem important at the moment, but are nothing but motes of dust in the grand scheme of our life journey. Merry Christmas and Joy to you and yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Christmas Greetings
    from my website to yours,
    May the Season be bright
    and the year that’s ahead
    turn out to be just right.
    With warmest wishes for
    Good Health and Happiness.
    Have a very Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally, I’m sorry I missed your comment on Christmas – this was stuck in spam for some reason. Looks like I’ll need to keep a closer eye on things.

      Anyway – thank you so much for your Christmas Greetings – I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Splendid my friend, what a lovely post and I like to believe that the people you encounter when least expected that can bring a bucketful of joy, well that is a true gift any time of the year. Happy holidays my friend and I’m singing here to you, Johnny Mathis though, we need a little Christmas song, what funπŸ˜ŠπŸŽΌπŸŽ‰πŸΏ

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sounds like you are going through my life. Had 5 MRIs, 14 slipped discs and impingement, a neuropathy through both elbows affecting my hands, torn rotator cuffs and 2 fractured tibias. I somehow function. Tests and black and blues with more in store. I hope you hold it together. I have my massive movie collection on my computer while trying to do a bit more. I hope you feel better. I will pretend as I alreadty dealt with lack of sleep and pain and cleaned everything from yesterday and today is slow to start and watching Scrooged to start.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My Christmas gift to you – Canadian Jokes:

    1. What do you high-tech lumberjacks do?
    Log on.
    2. Why are Canadian students so smart?
    They get a lot of ehs.
    3. What’s smelly, green and gross, and works on Parliament Hill?
    The slime minister!
    4. What is the most amusing body of water in Canada?
    The Bay of Fundy.

    Hope you’re having a lovely day πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I was just closing up “shop” for the day and saw you had been to my blog so I thought one good turn deserves another and read your latest post. I had also just posted a post and it too, was on the disillusionment of xstmas and Christmas past. So much pretending has to go into Pretending we’re a happy family although no one speaks to anyone between holidays. If someone doesn’t have anything that matters in their life they can’t understand it if someone else does. I loved what you wrote about the singing man. Nothing in life happens by accident. You were meant to meet him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your perspective. You’re right about all the pretending that goes on as well – people only seeing each other at holidays out of a sense of obligation. It’s sad.

      I’m still thinking about that old fella and his songs, all these days later. I was definitely meant to cross paths with him. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was quite an experience. As a Buddhist, everything happens for a reason. It’s the law of cause and effect -what goes around comes around – you get back what you dish out – you reap what you sow. It’s all the same thing. When you look at everything in your life from that perspective it’s pretty awesome. There is something to Kahn n from everything.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You made me happy. I actually am unsure whether that man was even real or if an angel popped into your day and then disappeared. But I can see him now and I like him. I think I might try being crazy like that for a bit. It would be so nice to spread that kind of joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. An amazing man you came across Stephanie and thank God you did… Have a peaceful last week of the year
    PS I love grape juice and am thankful for it too
    PS I’m not sure if I really know how to use “PS” correctly
    PS This post + your tone in it really made my heart feel warm

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Absolutely inspiring Stephanie. Sometimes it is the little things that remind us that even in the midst of our own personal storms that someone else will still sing and choose happiness over living in misery. I have to remind myself of that as well. Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. God I love your blog….no matter, you leave me with a smile…and laughing out loud….I am thinkin that ole man was one of your guardian angels….in the right place, at the right time, exactly when you needed it….how wonderful…..Have a wonderful New Year and sometimes its nice when the pros out weigh the cons….keep smiling my friend….believe me you will leave people wondering what your smiling at….LOL noting wrong with being a little geek…..!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It breaks my heart when people are rude to elderly people. I hope that person who laughed at him got a serious case of the trots. His line about losing his Christmas, because she passed, just hit me like a ton of bricks. Powerful stuff. I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and you found happiness, at least for a day.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s moments like those that make us human. We are, innately, self-centered, but enlightenment comes when we are able to connect with someone who allows us to see outside ourselves. I adore you even more for being the kind of person who listened, rather than laughed. You have a beautiful soul πŸ™ŒπŸ˜˜

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah. This is even more tired than just general depression fatigue. When I took Cymbalta, I would wake multiple times throughout the night. Sometimes nearly hourly. It’s one of the reasons I had to come off of it. Something she’s giving me is doing that to me now. I told her, but she didn’t seem concerned. If I knew which one was doing it, I’d stop taking it like NOW. Grrr.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She seems to think so. I can’t really tell…she seemed a lot more caring than “Diane” did. But her whole objective is to medicate and have someone else counsel me. I felt heard the first time, but yesterday not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, she knows I work.

        I have another appointment with her in two weeks. I think…I mean…I kinda want to come off of the lithium right now. I don’t think I need it. But then again, I’m seeing her for help. So I don’t know what to do.

        I also don’t even know if that’s what’s making me so sleepy!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Could you ask for another professional opinion? You probably shouldn’t drive when you’re on such meds. You mentioned taking the ‘drowsy-making’ ones in the evening, but you don’t really know which ones are making you sleepy.

        Liked by 1 person

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