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The turkey was not ready for his close-up. Never in a million years would I have dreamed that the humble bird from our early Christmas with my husband’s sons would, a year later, appear on thousands of computer screens around the world. How’d this happen? Yesterday, the WordPress editor (aka “story wrangler”) plucked this little blog out of obscurity and plopped it onto the site’s “Freshly Pressed” portal—where all good bloggers go to log in. In roughly 27 hours, more than 4,000 people visited The Midlife Second Wife, and 42 new subscribers signed up. The post that generated all of the activity, “Where’s Home for the Holidays When You’re Divorced or Remarried?” attracted 83 comments and 109 “likes” from bloggers.  Gosh. I really wish I’d garnished that turkey.

But this post isn’t about our turkey’s less than glamorous visage, and it’s only tangentially about the blog’s 15-minutes of fame. No, this post is about gratitude. The past 27 hours have been wonderfully overwhelming and deeply humbling. So I hope that you won’t mind if I use this essay to express some well-deserved thanks.

  1. To my son, who e-mailed me before all of the hubbub began, to tell me that he loved the post. Matthew, I’m sorry, but I’m about to have an “I’m going to embarrass you moment.” I love and admire you more than words can say.
  2. To my husband, who was the first to comment, who gives me room and space to write, who champions everything that I do, and who—to quote Paul Child, Julia’s husband—”is the butter to my bread and the breath to my life.” John, I love you.
  3. To my stepsons, whom I love more than they might realize, given the brief time we’ve been flung together and the distance that separates us.
  4. To the editors at WordPress for incredible support of a late-blooming blogger.
  5. To all of my friends and family who signed on at the beginning. You are amazing and I love you.
  6. To every new reader of the blog—all of you who subscribed, felt moved enough by the post to give it your much-appreciated thumbs-up, and decided to follow me on Twitter.
  7. To everyone who posted their comments in response to the blog’s message. You have no idea how you have warmed my heart. Many of you wrote to express your own painful experiences about the way divorce has torn your family asunder; many described your own ways of dealing with the holidays; one reminded me—and I hope everyone reading—that it’s not only divorce or remarriage that can shunt holiday traditions sidewise. The wars in which our country has been embroiled have done their own damage—in countless cases irreparable—to the family gathering at the dinner table. One of you wrote to express your poignant wish that you had the right to marry, too. So do I.

To each of you who took the time to post a comment, I promise to reply. It will take me some time to do so, but it’s important to me. You have done me a great honor by your response to my writing.

To all of you reading this, I promise to make every effort to be interesting, honest, and useful in what I post here. Your time is valuable; I don’t want you to feel you are wasting it by reading me.

Finally, there’s just one more thing I want to say before I leave you today.

I’ve yet to share on this blog my love of French films. I bring this up now because there’s a wonderful line in one of my favorites—Red, part of Krzysztof Kieslowski‘s trilogy Three Colors. The character portrayed by Irene Jacob says:

Je me sens quelque chose d’important se passe autour de moi. (Don’t be impressed; I had to look this up on Google Translate.)

“I feel something important is happening around me.”

For the past several weeks, I have felt as though something important were happening around me. (I’ve felt this way before, when John and I fell in love … when my child was first placed in my arms.) It’s an incredibly potent feeling—a feeling of great positivity and light. My Thanksgiving wish for each and every one of you is this: that you experience this feeling at least once in your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving. And thank you.