With today being Thanksgiving, I've been thinking about all of the things in my life for which I am thankful. The first that comes to mind is something I heard yesterday from a fellow senior softball teammate. When asked how he was doing, he said, "Great! I woke up this morning breathing!"
I did as well, and for that, I am extremely thankful. When you get to be 75, little things like waking up breathing mean a lot.
Then, as I was sitting on the bench waiting to hit another crappy little grounder to the pitcher, I found myself talking to Joe, one of the oldest dudes who almost every day comes out to play softball. He had just hit a line shot over the second baseman's head for a clean single.
"How old are you, Joe?" I asked.
"I'll be 88 in February," he said with a grin.
"Damn! You hit a hell of a lot better than I do," I said. "And I'm only 75."
"You just can't quit," he said. "Gotta keep at it."
I've always believed that, which is why I made this shirt:
Anyway, I'm thankful for people like Joe who don't let advancing age get in the way of living their lives. That's how I want to be when I grow up. Like the shirt says, there's no such word as "can't". If it's something you want to do, get at it.
Also, yesterday, another of my softball pals who I haven't seen in a while told me his wife is fighting cancer, which saddened me. Thankfully, she's in a trial treatment program that seems to be helping.
"We travel to Maryland every other week for those treatments," he said. "Knock on wood, it seems to be doing some good."
"Thank God," I said. "Please give her my best."
As I looked around from my position at second base, I thought about the beautiful, sunny, crisp day, skies clear and blue, and was ever so thankful that I was there -- playing in 55-degree temps and having a great time. Back in Maryland, from whence I came just over two years ago, it's in the 30s and my softball pals there can only dream about playing when spring arrives four months from now.
Since we've moved here, we're just minutes away from my wife, Jackie's, daughter, Jacquie, and her terrific family. We're both thankful for that because when we get really old and decrepit, they will have their hands full.
Now, as I write this, Jackie is looking over my shoulder asking me all kinds of questions and interrupting my train of thought, which often wanders as it is. She's great like that.
Nevertheless, it is she for whom I am most thankful. She shows her love and support every day. And she keeps me sane -- not an easy task, some say impossible. Bottom line, it's great to be in love with your best friend.
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Hope you have a great day and holiday season and that you are as blessed as I feel today.