So, there’s no Thanksgiving in England. Bummer. No dressing, no greens, no black-eyed peas, no yams, no turkeys and no cranberry sauce. But, I’m still giving thanks for what I’m most grateful for: friends and family.
Zaneta – You’ve been a dear friend/supporter/cheerleader for 17 years. We’ve experienced a lot together, some of which will remain between us until we die! I love you like a sister. I’m so proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished. I’m excited to see what 2008 has for you. I’m thankful for you.
Stephanie – Who would have known that being senior class officers and zero-hour economics (with Coach Bode!) would lead to me being a bridesmaid in your wedding?! You’re a dear friend and someone I hope my daughter emulates. You always have a listening ear and sound advice. The Steph-isms and anecdotes are always right on time. I’m proud of you. I love you. I’m thankful for you.
Simone – Only my love and respect can transcend the utter jealousy I have for you! You know things about me that you’ll take to the grave. I love talking to you for hours about random things (shea butter on a train, armpits, fear of walking inside Copeland’s restaurant). You keep your eyes firmly glued to the prize and you succeed. I’m so so proud of you! I love you. I’m thankful for you.
Keanna – Easily the crunkest and most stylish hustler with immense faith that I know! You’re always on the go with a plan to get better and make things better. I love your determination to allow nothing to stop you. Nothing! And not many people would know just how excited I would get to see “andre 3000 does it again” in my inbox. You’re an amazing person with an even more amazing spirit. I love you. I’m thankful for you.
Ingrid – I will always remember that day in your car when we realized just how much we had in common. I never expected a chance meeting at a program would lead to such a wonderful friendship. You’re one of my best friends and someone I can tell anything to at any time. I appreciate your support and you letting me be there for you when I am able. Your friendship was timely; we both needed each other soon after! You’re wonderful. I love you. I’m thankful for you.
MJ – So, September of 1996 you and Reggie decided to throw fries at me. Thanks. Ten (or eleven?) years later we’re still good friends. I have been and will always be one of your biggest hype-men (though Nicole Garner might be able to rightfully claim it) even if our conversations occur less often. I’ve seen you build businesses with your talent and increase your business skills…and get a long-term girlfriend! I remember “competing” with you for the nicest cell phone! You helped me celebrate my 20th birthday (woohoo!) and build the tradition of not giving birthday gifts. You’re the reason I transferred to GSU and many good things have come from that. You’re like a brother to me and I love you… in a non-incestuous way. I’m thankful for you.
Thomas – Man, there should be a new word for “memories”. You and I share experiences, stories and too much other stuff. For over 10 years, I’ve been sharing WAY too much information with you, but you listen patiently always. When I want to just get away or vent, you were there to let me talk, drink or just chill in Albany or on Victoria. And who can forget the chick named Ginger? You’re a great friend. I love you. I’m really thankful for you.
Kyle – My twin, born on the same day, a few hours apart, a few states apart, but with the same mind. We think so much alike it’s scary. We’ve shared some good memories; I can only imagine things if we’d met sooner! I glean many things from you, just through our short and sporadic conversations: inspiration, patience, understanding, love, respect, humility. I appreciate your friendship and I hope that your impact on me is reflective of my impact on you. I love you and I’m thankful for you.
Tasheena – If bullsh!t were dollars, you and I would be rich for some of the mess we’ve been through! We’re very different, but linked by a series of events that have created a very lasting friendship. I don’t need to talk to you everyday to know that you have my back; the same is true for you. That’s what is so great about our friendship. I admire your motivation to achieve more and better yourself. You’re really just one of the coolest people around me…and you know how to have a good time! I love you, Sheena, and I’m thankful for you.
Jolea – “Kindred spirits” is an understatement. You and I have tons in common, going back to Peterkin’s class at Fair Dillard. We share common goals and a few friends, but your positivity is something that is hard to find. Complaints are few and far between from you and I picked up on that a long time ago. You’ll be a great urban planning professor. It SO wouldn’t surprise me if we ended up at the same university! I love you. I’m thankful for you.
Tracie – The real reason I stayed in that class at EBC. I looked forward to seeing someone the same age as me with similar issues. We bonded over issues! We’re still doing so, emailing back and forth when we should be working, texting for too long, and making “date night” all about the girls! I really appreciate your friendship. I love you and I’m thankful for you.
The Legettes-I have such a wonderful family. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world (maybe a new Volkswagen…maybe). In each of their own ways, they’re extremely supportive of me and all of my against-the-grain philosophies and doctrines. Despite the ever-shrinking list of things I can eat, they still let me come around during the holidays! 🙂 My mom helps me out however she can and I realize that all she’s done for me is so that I can experience things like living in England. My sister is a major source of inspiration for me. I look up to her and hope to one day balance 3 kids, school, a husband, cars and a nice body as well as she does! My uncles Al and Fletcher love me to pieces, though one would NEVER tell anyone out loud! I love them even more. My cousins are spread out all over, working their butts off and being good dads. It would be nice to get a picture of all of the grandkids once (hint, hint) before Leeland becomes a hoop star. My aunts are extremely strong women who’ve been through a lot and still walk proudly. They’ve taught me a lot too, mainly that you don’t mess with Ruby’s kids ’cause they’ll get ya’! I love you all and I’m extremely thankful for you.
I can’t wait to see all of you!
And can someone save me some dressing?