This morning while Grant was visiting our casita, he and Dennis and I discussed things to be thankful for – not the usual good health, family, and so forth. Instead we focused on being thankful for bad things that led to good things.
Grant recalled a gathering of University of Arizona law students before classes began for his first year of law studies. Wanting to get acquainted with his fellow students, Grant went to the sleazy bar where the law students were to gather. He was dismayed by the setting, but determined to stick it out. Soon, he spotted a lovely young woman sitting nearby and struck up a conversation. Soon they went for a ride on his motorcycle and got caught in a monsoon. It was not an auspicious beginning, but today that woman is his wife, for which he is thankful.
Then I recalled my unfortunate experience when defending my dissertation. My advisor was a smart young woman who had just been promoted to full professor. I had followed her advice to keep the dissertation short so that it would be ready to submit for publication in a journal. It was my bad luck that, while my advisor had been promoted, a member of my committee, a man, had been denied promotion. At my dissertation defense, the loser refused to consider my dissertation acceptable without the traditional long first chapter giving the overview of all research related to my work.
I went home in despair. While the PhD was not denied, I would have to completely re-write my first chapter, expanding it to the more traditional length. When a friend stopped by I told him what had happened and commented that what I needed was a day in the country. “As it happens,“ he said, “we’re going to have Sunday dinner with a friend in the country. You should come with us.”
I gratefully accepted and as it turned out, the host, whom I met for the first time that Sunday, was Dennis, my husband of more than forty years.
And so today we gave thanks for bad things that led to good things. We hope that the horrifying things currently happening in the United States will lead to an awakening of our true American spirit and dedication to a true democracy of the people, for the people, and by the people, and next year for that we will give thanks.
Copyright 2017 by Shirley Domer