Want a potentially trite sounding gratitude list? I knew you did. On Thanksgiving we all get to rough draft our eventual Oscar acceptance speeches.
I'd like to thank my parents for giving me life. Thank you, Mom, for teaching me about education and dedication and for raising me to appreciate fine details and accuracy. Thank you for dragging me, kicking and screaming, through lessons of food preparation and household maintenance. I fought you every minute and had a horrible attitude. Only now, as a mother, do I have any clue how much work it was for you to perservere and teach me what I needed to know. Thank you for helping me work around my bad attitude at school and still get outstanding educational opportunities. Thank you for making it possible for me to take algebra through the college when I wasn't permitted to progress in junior high. Thank you for your endless hours at the dinner table, explaining the concepts that frustrated me. I don't know if you remembe how annoyed I was, trying to understand why suddenly I had to solve for f(x) rather than just y, like it had been before. When I got to Calculus the additional understanding of functions was quite helpful. Dad, thank you for your empathy as I struggled through adolescence. Thank you for being my verbal sparring partner and political pugilist all these years.
I'd like to thank my oldest brother for letting me listen to rock music and teaching me the keyboard parts to a few songs, when I was little. Your attention meant the world to me, and playing opening chords from random 80s music is still a fun party trick.
Thanks, oldest sister, for inspiring me to write. My earliest short stories and poetry were pathetic mimicries of your work. When you were in Germany I cherished a book of poetry you had begun and commenced writing my own. I don't know how I would have survived that year without the creative outlet writing offered.
Little sister, I adore you. I admire you. Your intelligence and warmth make me feel better about humanity as a whole. When I share my views on religion, I always fear it will alienate me from all my loved ones, but every time I have exposed an emotional wound or frustrations or even just gone on a ranting bender, you have patiently listened and then provided calm, intelligent points of view that bring me to a more peaceful, humble way of thinking. We may not agree on some things, but I always get the impression that our hearts are in the same place. I can not overstate the value of this in my life.
Baby brother, you rock. I still worry that the cruelty I directed toward you in childhood may have done real damage. Hopefully it didn't, but I'm still sorry about that. I have loved watching you become a father. Your daughter is fortunate to have you for her male role model and first hero.
Mr. McGeeky, G-Rex, Bayba and Muggle - You are my world and I'll tell you all more about that after I make dinner for you.
HRH UP - Sorry I won't get to see you today. Thank you for teaching me some social skills and about forgiveness and the endurance of friendship.
Mrs. Bosazzle - I don't want to embarrass you in public, so I won't go into all the things about you I'm thankful for, but I wanted to make sure you know you're important to me.
OK, I've been hearing the exit music in my head, so I suppose I should wrap this up...
I love you all! Thank you all for enriching my life and making me a better person.
Funny, my exit music seems to be the sound of aliens getting shot, amidst gruff voices repeating phrases like, "Your warriors have engaged the enemy!" "Upgrade complete!" "I have returned!" and "My life for Aiur!" heh