20 In Gratitude

Giving Thanks

GIVING THANKS

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, which is a shame really as this quote made me stop and think about the people who have made a difference in my life up until today – those who I haven’t stopped to recognise with a simple ‘thank you’.

There have been so many people who have made a difference in my life, whether it be by making a big impact, storming through my life like a tornado, or a subtle, lasting difference, like the warmth from a nice glass of red wine that slowly emanates through your body (as is the glass of cabernet merlot I sip slowly as I write this post).

Of course, the first person who comes to mind is the person I cannot tell how thankful I am for all she did or for how much of an impact she had on my  life.

She left this world a few years ago leaving a huge gap in many lives and robbing the world of a truly beautiful soul…but she made such an impact whilst she was here in such a subtle way with her beauty (both inside and out), her genuine nature, her love, her generosity – including never turning the Jehovah’s away and getting to know generations of families even though she wasn’t religious, and her English quirkiness – teacup warming, stockings, spam sandwiches with pickle and all. My Nan is largely responsible for my love of books, photos, lamb chops, roast potatoes, the English countryside, and in general, the concept of being nice and tolerant to everyone.

Nan

And then there’s my Mumsy.

I won’t lie to you – my Mum and I have had our fair share of issues over the years, but that’s because we are just so damn similar. We’ve also had some fantastic times and I simply would not be here as the person I am without the presence and support (and discipline) of my Mum. Mum always supported my love for writing, as well as books and music. She nurtured the hippy, free-spirited nature in me, and helped me to love my red hair. It was Mum who showed me how a woman can bounce back from adversity and become a strong, confident woman, no matter how many times a man knocked her down. She is also the person responsible for showing me how to rock my red hair and for how loud I laugh…the women in our family, man do they cackle (or rather, reverberate the walls and attract a hell of a lot of stares!).

Most of all I’m thankful to my Mum for coming dress shopping with me on Tuesday. I was very nervous about the whole thing, but it was such a breeze! Choosing the right store helped – for my first wedding dress experience I chose to start at a nice, intimate vintage store called Through the White Door in Fremantle. It was perfect, and yes, vintage / boho IS my style! Here’s a sneak peak (this is NOT the dress, but it was still a stunning dress!).

Wedding dress shopping

And then there’s D.

D. Where do I begin? I guess my gratitude to D can be summed up like this…

This 37 1/2-year-old never wanted to get married. She was an independent, stubborn person who didn’t believe in marriage, never wanted to wear a bloody wedding dress, and would rather run away from a man then commit. How things change.

I could go off on tangents right now. The boy I fell in love with and who broke my heart in England. The various people who have screwed me over. The friends who have come into and gone out of my life. The fleeting meetings with people which have resulted in many an epiphany…So many people, so much gratitude. But I will end it there, with love and with excitement over what will come.

When was the last time that you stopped to give thanks to the people who have made a difference in your life? If you haven’t, there’s no better time than now…

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Tara Schiller
    April 11, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Love this post and the picture of your grandmother. The past few years, as my oldest children have grown into teenagers, I’ve called and written letters to both my parents apologizing profusely for how horrible I was as a teenager, and thanking them for everything they’ve done. It’s meant a lot to them. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      April 15, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      I love that picture too. It was taken at my Mum’s wedding. I love that idea of calling and writing letters to your parents. I might steal your idea if you don’t mind!

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    April 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I love how beautifully you put your words together in this post, it is so much more than a post though, it is a beautiful tribute to those you love. Loved everything about it, so honest and so full of love xx

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      April 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you Mac. I loved writing this after being stuck for the whole week!

  • Reply
    Lisa (mummascribbles)
    April 12, 2015 at 1:12 am

    This is such a lovely post. It’s lovely to look back and thank those who need to be thanked. Thanks for hosting #fridayreflections

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      April 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for joining us!

  • Reply
    Eloquent Mind
    April 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    That’s such a cute picture of your grandmother. Made me remember my late granny 🙁 She was a wonderful person whom I never got to know since she passed away when I was 18 months old. Nevertheless, everyone who knew her can always find time to tell me what a beautiful human being she was. I regret having missed the chance to have truly known her.

    Mothers … aah ! Doesn’t the word – mom/mother – itself bring in a fresh wave of inspiration for us ? 🙂 Loved your post.

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      April 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      There’s nothing quite like grandmothers – I’m glad you could be impacted by her memory and lasting influence.

  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    April 13, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I’ve been looking at that picture of your Nan for the last 5 minutes, Janine! She seems like she was gentle yet so strong! I’m glad you had her in your life. And of course, your Mum and D too! I’m sure the dress you picked must be really lovely and you’ll make a beautiful bride! So exciting!
    Thanks for including the Gratitude Circle here. We’ll have our linky up on 23rd April, so you can add a link to this post there.

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      April 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      You summed her up perfectly Corinne. She was. I have chosen my dress! yay! Now I just need to order and pay for it boo…Thanks for the heads up on the Gratitude circle. I can’t believe its April already – seriously where is this year going?!

  • Reply
    Mary Nolan
    April 16, 2015 at 12:48 am

    What a lovely tribute Janine to the people in your life. I hardly knew my grandmothers as they both died while I was young. I am so glad my girls have been luckier to know theirs. I love the photograph of her. There is such character in her face. Why people opt for plastic surgery I will never know. To me I see an inquiring mind. I look forward to seeing the photographs of you in “The Dress” on the big day.

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    April 25, 2015 at 2:52 am

    What a sweet post, Janine! Our Grandmothers enrich our lives in ways we can never measure! I think of mine every day in some way and feel gratitude for all that I imbibed from her. 🙂 That dress is charming! Wishing you happiness – and thank you for joining us in the Gratitude Circle blog hop!
    Love and hugs!

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      Grandmothers are such special people 🙂 I hope you are well and happy!

  • Reply
    G Angela
    April 25, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    what a beautiful post, I loved the picture of your grandma, she looks so calm and still there is something about her that is attractive; i agree its important to be thankful to all those lovely souls who make a difference in our lives… remaining grateful makes us happy too. thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Hi! Nice to meet you and thanks for swinging by. Gosh yes I love that pic too. She was – awesome! I love being grateful for things…coming from a former pessimist! Have a wonderful weekend!

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