Grateful by Tracy Diane Miller

I always get nostalgic and overwhelmingly sad this time of year. I lost my mother on May 10, 2005 and my emotions get the best of me. It is so easy for me to drown in despair. So, instead of focusing on what I lost, I wanted to focus on what I’ve gained. Thus, I decided to write a gratitude post.

I am most of all grateful for my twin sister Stacy. I entered this world with my best friend. I love that Stacy can still have optimism. When life beats her down, she finds the beauty in moments. She is my hero.

I’m grateful for Nicki Aycox. She allowed me to share my story. Her friendship and support means a great deal to me. She is a giving, compassionate lady. I adore her.

Nicki continues to give me and other listeners music that inspires us. She is courageous in following her dream. Following one’s dream is scary, but Nicki proves that if you are true to yourself, everything else will fall into place in due time.

I’m grateful for musicians like Brian Buckley and Mandy Rowden who bare their souls through lyrics and melody. Their songs are a comforting place I go. They inspire my poetry.

I’m grateful for Jared Padalecki and Always Keep Fighting. I’ve been a fan of Jared for over 15 years. His acting has given me countless hours of enjoyment. But his legacy, I feel, will be rooted in Always Keep Fighting. He opened up about his own struggles and gave us a community of compassion. We are learning to love ourselves first. It is a challenge, but Jared taught us that we can be resilient. When life knocks us down, we can Always Keep

I am grateful for the love and support of friends who have encouraged me on my poetic journey:  Michael Moore, Susan Broomer, Susan Gordon, Jamie Steinberg, Lisa Steinberg, Melissa Pierce, Nicola Choi, Arlene Allen, Destiny Whitaker, Rayven Whitaker, Erin Wise, Natalie, Josephine Neville, Terri Clark.

I am grateful for the writers and creative spirits who I admire and who encourage me through their example to pursue my own creative dreams:  Vik Rubenfeld, Lisa N. Edwards, Joey Adams, Megan Padalecki, The Nerdy Girl Express, Terri Garber, Jane, Tosha Michelle.

Last, but certainly not least, I am grateful for my mother, Arlene Miller. I would be nothing without her strength and faith in raising us in a difficult environment. She rejected the outward ugliness of the Philadelphia inner city, the culture of failure and violence. Instead, she created a loving home despite the chaos outside. She fostered education and a sense of giving back.

My mother left this world almost eleven years ago. But she continues to guide my path. I am very grateful for that.