All posts tagged: Thank You

How My Husband’s Cancer Changed Me — For the Better

At the start of 2014, I celebrated my half-century birthday. My New England home was packed to the rafters with friends, both old and new, family, music and food. I was enveloped in love and felt buoyantly optimistic about the upcoming year(s). My husband of 25-plus years, Ken, was starting a new senior role at a growing startup. I had launched a fledgling consulting business with a bunch of amazing clients. I had committed — finally— to getting on the biking bandwagon and going on a 62-mile race with my biking obsessed hubby. It was promising to be quite a year. Less than a month later, we learned that the funky little squamous cell carcinoma that my husband had removed from his lip two years earlier, to little fanfare, had metastasized. Stage IV cancer. The cells had spread into at least four lymph nodes. As a world-class problem-solver and fixer, I shifted into high gear. I researched and ranked doctors and surgical centers as my hubby, alternatively numb and angry, struggled to make decisions about …

tuenight grace diane di costanzo thanks

A Prayer for Everyday Things

There’s a secular kind of prayer I make when I fear something in my life is about to be lost. It goes like this: Please, please, please, please. On an everyday basis, that thing is my phone and I am asking the Maker (of Apple Products) to reveal it to me as not lost after all. Please, please, please, please, I think. And there it is: my phone, tossed heedlessly into my bag, hidden in the black recesses among sundry other black things. I feel a little spangle of relief; it’s a company-issued phone, and I simply can’t tell the tech-support guy I lost another one. On most occasions, I remember to send up a thank you to the Maker that goes something like this: “You have saved me so much inconvenience (not to mention groveling) on this day, and for that I am grateful.” As a mother of two “children” now in their 20s, I’ve had far too many occasions to send up that prayer to another Maker, who, although not well known to …

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

The TueDo List: Enjoy Your Leftovers, Shop Small Businesses and Indulge in Holiday Films

My goal for this weekend is to do as little as possible. And I’m grateful that I have an opportunity to lapse into inertia. Here are a few other things going on this weekend that I’m thankful for (and you may be too). Happy holidays, my friends. It’s on. Leftovers I could not be less interested in the mall this weekend, but I’m all about leftovers and television. As for the remains of your dinner, Food Network, Martha Stewart, Southern Living and Cooking Light all have recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers — and many of them not the typical turkey-stuffing-cranberry-sauce sandwich variety. Weekend TV guides from Mashable, Daily Beast and Indiewire can help with the glowy box entertainment. Indiewire’s guide is my favorite — they’ recommend watching The Leftovers tomorrow on HBO Signature, calling it a bleak but must-watch drama. Shop Small Amid the Black Friday and Cyber Monday chaos lies Small Business Saturday. It’s an excellent opportunity to remind myself to do most, if not all, of my holiday shopping in my community. This event is (somewhat ironically) sponsored by American Express, which provides a map of local …

Why I Was Ungrateful For Those Gratitude Lists

For many years, you could spare me your gratitude lists. I didn’t want any of that manufactured positivity. I didn’t believe in it, couldn’t abide by it. The last thing I needed was your swirly font and numbered reasons to dig life, doubling as a reminder of all of the things I didn’t have. Then, faced with a choice to change everything or die, I quit drinking. The first person who really helped me understand how to live as a sober person asked me to send her a gratitude list as soon as I woke up every day. It wasn’t really negotiable. She told me a grateful person had a better chance of not drinking, and my desire to quit was bigger than my hatred of gratitude lists. l had also opened my big mouth and told her I would try anything to get better, so I shut up and sent her five things (mostly) every morning, in a plain black font text thread. My gratitude lists include being alive and they often include coffee, as some mornings …

Why Don’t My White Friends Talk About Race? Here’s What They Told Me

My anger was palpable long before the announcement by the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri. I was already antsy. Wanting to fight. Craving some sort of confrontation, as I often do when life doesn’t hand me lemons, but lobs them at my head. When I learned a decision was made, I was ready. I wanted to go in and tell people what I really thought of them and, most importantly, their silence. I am a feisty person and when I hurt, I use my words not for good but for bad. This pain was amplified by knowing full well that Darren Wilson wouldn’t be indicted. A feeling that many of us had sitting at the bottom of our guts like a heavy meal. I wanted my friends, my largely white, female following, to get angry, to say something and to feel that hurt. So, as a writer, I used my words. I put out 140 characters that explained exactly how I felt: I would love to see those social justice/social good folks to at least …

The Super Weird Thing I’m Thankful For

We asked a few of our contributors for the things they’re thankful for — not the obvious things, like family, food, water, health — but those little intrinsic things only they can appreciate. A dishwasher named Sven is perhaps my favorite.  In fact, two of our contributors actually named their beloved inanimate objects, because they are so fond of them. Let the weird begin… Vamps I can’t live without trashy romance novels, the worse the better, even better if they involve vampires — did I just write that out loud? Guess I did. There is nothing like a bad romance novel to wipe out the convoluted work of trying to build a tech start up and dealing with wireframes and coding by day. —Adaora Udoji Zzzs with JJ JJ is my travel-size down pillow. I really don’t think I could sleep without him. I come from a long line of pillow-namers 🙂 I can roll it up and put it in my suitcase! —Wendy Goldman Scherer Pick Up The Damn Phone I am thankful for people who still …

Why I Give: Angel Investor Susan McPherson on Social Good

Susan McPherson was only 21 when her mother died in a tragic hotel fire. Rather than allowing the grief to define her, Susan has dedicated her life — and funds — to giving back to the world. I met Susan only about a year ago, but in that time I’ve been awed to watch how often she gives, in ways both large and small. From her work as founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, consulting with brands on corporate responsibility to advising several women-run start-ups and serving on the boards of Girl Rising and Business Council for Peace, she even finds time to host #CSRChat, a bi-weekly chat on Twitter. Last month she wrote a great piece for Medium about her path to becoming an angel investor. She writes, “Through angel investing, I could harness my passion for helping other women make change, while supporting the wider movement to increase the number of women providing capital and expertise to early-stage companies.” Freshly 50, Susan McPherson is a petite powerhouse; she’s got more energy, buoyancy and …

How a Community of Drug-Users Saved Us From Violence

In the mid-1990s, I worked for Philadelphia’s needle exchange program, Prevention Point. Twenty-plus years later, I cherish the community that the needle exchange created — that odd and random assortment of people of all ages, races, economic strati and degrees of addiction. The ties that bound us seemed so tenuous. Hundreds of people would line up at the sites — street corners in Kensington or Germantown known for open-air drug markets, sex work and gun violence. And we, the “helpers,” would arrive in a van to distribute supplies that would prevent the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other infectious diseases. I didn’t know then that I would be helped at least as much as I helped others. Many of the exchangers (people who used the needle exchange) were extremely tense when they arrived at a site because they were jonesing and had been waiting for a clean needle. To an outsider, our safety may have seemed at risk though those of us who volunteered or worked at the needle exchange rarely gave it a …

Thirty Years of Thank You

Q: What do you do if you miss your mother-in-law? A: Reload and try again. That’s one of my favorite mother-in-law jokes, which I tell with impunity here because I actually love my mother-in-law. In fact, as I sat down to ponder the subject of gratitude and who I am grateful to have in my life, hers was the first face that popped into my head. Truth be told, I also thought of my dog, which led me to consider what my MIL and my terrier have in common, besides a passion for dark meat turkey. I reckoned they both come whenever I call them and they both let me know how much they love me all the time. The fact I “got” Barbara simply by marrying her son is a total bonus. For three decades, she has spoiled me with kindness, not to mention skillets full of crispy brown rice and wheat berries (my fave) and buckets of hot fudge sauce (my other fave). Without preaching, she’s taught me much about being a good …

Margit’s Note: Hey, Thanks

  It’s a rough day to try and be thankful. But there is something almost apropos that the Ferguson decision happened only a few days before Thanksgiving. Daring us to find our better angels. Find the commonality, find the hugs, find the conversation that needs to happen. For me, there’s a lot to be thankful for: health; family; a roof; the Metrocard that gets me where I need to go. a hot coffee in the morning; a book that changes my mind. And as TueNight, we’re most thankful for the community of diverse voices that share their brave, hilarious, surprising and insightful voices with us every week. You are everything. This Week: Heather Barmore asks why you’re being so quiet about Ferguson Laurie White writes her thank you notes Kathleen Warner realizes cancer was a catalyst for change Julie Parr is grateful for a community of drug-users Amy Barr finds friendship in her own family Our contributors share the weird things they’re thankful for…. And I talk to an angel (investor), Susan McPherson And a Few Ways We Can …