To Be Thankful

While this blog has been used to rant, to promote, and to otherwise ramble, today I would like to write about being thankful.

I’ve been up since 3:00 AM. Unable to sleep, I watched TV. I played on the computer. I bought a new coffee pot. I wrote. I worked at submitting a short story to a number of magazines. And I contemplated …

You will oftentimes hear people say, “Life is funny.”

They don’t mean funny, ha-ha. Generally, they mean, ironic. Sad. Mean. Evil. Yet, they express this by calling it, “funny.”

Having failed out of college back in 1989, trying my luck then at community college and getting close to nowhere, I was able to land a job at Kodak. That job allowed me the comfort of getting married and raising a family.

Then life got funny.

After 19 years with the same woman, 15 married, I suddenly found myself divorced. Not living home with my three amazing kids. This was in 2007.

But the funny doesn’t stop there. It gets down-right hysterical.

After 19 years with Kodak, I was let go. Down-sized. Unemployed. I had to give up the studio apartment I lived in, and move back home with my parents.

Yeah. Had to give up a studio. Doesn’t that just have you in stitches?

Hard to feel thankful. Harder still not to just feel constantly depressed. Like giving up. Giving in.

In 1995, I had my first short story published. From there, I’ve gone on to sell nearly 100 short-stories and articles. I penned 9 novels. Two of them won small-time awards.

I did newspaper, magazine, radio and television interviews. I held book signings at over 100 bookstores throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana. I’ve been flown first class, had limo drivers, and been treated like a celebrity.

For nearly three years I’ve been working for the city as a Fire/EMS dispatcher at 911. It’s a good, steady job. We’re growing. Not shrinking. There is stability with the position. And I am thankful.

My newest novel, PULSE OF EVIL, was just released. It is my ninth. And I am thankful.

But a job, a writing career — thankful as I am — are nothing compared to my kids. My family.

Three kids. Teens. All of them.

I am thankful for them. For their health. That they are in my life — that they want me in theirs. That we are close. That we hug and kiss hello, and goodbye. That we laugh, and talk, and share. That we text and call and see each other often.

I am thankful for my entire family. For parents that are supportive and always there when needed. For brothers and a sister who would do anything for me, and for whom I would do the same. I am thankful.

Life is far from funny. It is unfair and dark at times. It is stormy and violent. Depressing and despairing.

It is important … no, no … vital — it is vital to see the good, to find the worthwhile, to value the relationships that we have.

They can end at any moment.

Be taken from you. Stolen. Stripped and shredded.

It is vital to love. To move forward. To forgive, and forget.

To let go…

It is vital to remember why you are important to someone else — just as “they” need to know how they are important to you.

There is a purpose behind this blog. A driving cause. It’s crippling for me to think about it. And at this time, it is not necessary for me to explain the background. The words above are true. Harsh. Bitter-sounding, but true.

I may hate where I am. Forty-two, divorced, living in an apartment a few miles from my children (yes, I was able to move out of my parents’ house after a while and get back up on my own feet — for which I am thankful).

I don’t sugarcoat things. I smile. I always try to smile. I don’t say stupid shit like, “There is always a silver lining.” That’s bullshit. Not true.

But there is always hope.

Hope, and reasons to be thankful … thankful for something.

Search your own hearts. Find the things you are thankful for — and make sure your feelings are known. Make sure. Don’t let regrets fill the space inside your heart.

. . . thank you for letting me get this out.


Phillip Tomasso

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4 thoughts on “To Be Thankful”

  1. Hey Phil, I’m thankful you weren’t on the receiving end of my 911 call for a car lockout and then my repeat 911 call when I found the keys on the ground. I’m thankful no one I know got to think, “Jeez, what an idiot.”

    Seriously, though, you are 100% correct, life is good even when it’s not. When it’s not is when we learn stuff.

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