Grateful, Part 2 by Tracy Diane Miller

I have always appreciated that my mother made it a priority for us to express our gratitude on a daily basis. When you’re a child, it is easy to feel envious of others. I remember wondering what it would be like to have two parents, live in the suburbs or go on family vacations. But that wasn’t my reality. Yet, I still had so much to be grateful for. I had a mother who showered us with love. I had a mother who constantly fostered our dreams and self-confidence. I had a mother who was grateful for her blessings (no matter how small) and was an optimist. If she cried, she never did it in front of us. If she vented or complained, we didn’t hear it. On the occasions when Stacy and I argued, my mother reminded us how lucky we were to have each other. My mother was an only child so she always wanted a sibling, especially a sister. Fortunately, when Stacy and I argued, our arguments were over little personality quirks and never lasted very long. They still don’t. Other than mom, the fact that I’m a twin continues to be the number one source of my gratitude. I had a happy childhood because of mom and Stacy.

Now that I am an adult and I will turn 51 years old in six days (I am also grateful that I was born on July 4th), I am constantly reminded of the many reasons I have to be grateful. It has been 11 years since I lost my mother and while I still miss her so much, she continues to keep her promise and comes to me in my dreams. She visits me at least twice a week. Sometimes, I think she is standing next to me when I’m awake. For the Supernatural fans, think how Bobby Singer protected Sam and Dean Winchester from the grave. It is a comfortable realization for me to feel her presence on a daily basis. It is another reason why I am grateful.

I am grateful that I was able to go to both college and law school on full academic scholarships. I am grateful that I never experienced student loan debt. For a poor kid raised in inner city Philadelphia, that in itself is a reason for overwhelming gratitude. I am grateful that after three decades working in law, I am now a full time writer. I am grateful for The Nerdy Girl Express. I always wanted to write for an online publication where I felt respected and appreciated. I didn’t think I would have that. But The Nerdy Girl Express came into my life during a painful and low period when I lost faith in people. Now, in addition to being a poet, I am blessed to write book reviews, articles and interview individuals whose talent I respect and admire. I owe The Nerdy Girl Express so much.

I am grateful for Jared Padalecki. Because of him and Always Keep Fighting, I found a vehicle to deal with my own depression. My poetic voice is stronger because it speaks from a place of my own vulnerability, a place that I had been reluctant to share. I know that I say it alot but it is very important to me: If not for Jared, I would have never discovered Attitudes in Reverse. I am grateful that my poetry book “I am not invisible: Always Keep Fighting poetry in honor of Jared Padalecki & others” is a tribute to Jared, Attitudes in Reverse and all the people who are learning to love themselves first, to Always Keep Fighting and that they are enough.