Merriott column: Late sister’s ‘I’m Thankful’ poem still resonates 60 years later

Frosty Merriott

Hi everyone, sorry for the long break. I’ve missed doing my column. I am going to try something a little different since it’s Thanksgiving weekend and we are all hopefully contemplating all we have to be thankful for.

In 1962 my little sister Sarah was fatally ill with Hodgkin’s disease when she penned this poem. I thought it would be interesting to see how what she was thankful for stood in comparison with what I am thankful for some 60 years later. Here is Sarah Francis Merriott’s beautiful poetry at age 13.

                                                                                          I’M THANKFUL

Today I am so thankful,

As every other day.

For everything in sight,

And Everything out.

I’m thankful for my education,

And thankful for my mind,

That can see beyond everything,

Not visible to the eye.

I’m thankful for my true friends,

That help when I’m in need.

I’m thankful for my loved ones,

Oh! Especially these!

I’m thankful for great thinkers

That can write what they believe,

I’m thankful for a smile,

That can say so much,

Yes. That little grin:

So small, yet — so small.

I’m thankful for scattered talents,

So everyone’s not alike.

I think if everyone found their talent.

Their own Special Talent

What a wondrous world this would be!

I’m thankful for God’s creation.

God’s beautiful creations

God’s balanced creation!

God’s spectacular creation!

                                    — Sarah Merriott

As for me, I am thankful that Carly and I just celebrated our 39th anniversary.

I am thankful that despite two heartbreaking miscarriages we kept believing and trying and were rewarded on our 10-year anniversary at Chretien Point Farms.

We are so thankful that our daughter Shiloh is in love, engaged and so happy!

I am thankful we will get to go to Denver Thursday to have Thanksgiving with one of my childhood friends. Jimmy went to my grandmother’s kindergarten which she taught from age 60-85.

I am thankful that Mammy, despite losing my grandfather to pneumonia during the depression, was able to put my mother AV and three siblings through college after finishing herself in 1912.

I am so thankful Shiloh and I got to do a bucket trip to the Serengeti when she graduated college.

I am so thankful that I got stuck in an elk herd crossing Crystal Bridge Drive on the way home from a late Trustee Meeting. I got to just roll down the windows, turn off the car and listen to them breathe and watch the water vapor puff from their noses.

I am thankful for my friend Perry Will who pushed through the Wildlife Crossings Bill which will save the lives of so many critters because of too much traffic and loss of habitat.

I am thankful I got to go to Katmai with a bear guide, camp in tents and take a drop dead picture of a huge brown bear from 15 feet away.

I am thankful for my daughter Heather who is a technical writer for St Jude’s, whose work now cures 80% of Hodgkin’s type cancers.

I am so thankful for all our Golden Retrievers over the years. Life would not have been the same journey without each of you.

I am so thankful to be a member of the Orchard Church and to be able to love God and love people, especially some folks as they aren’t that easy to love.

I am thankful for my Latino friends and coworkers, Mayett, Miguel and Roberto.

I am thankful for my Republican best friend in Louisiana in the oil and gas business, who I got to raft the River of No Return with.

I am thankful for my dad’s service in the U.S. Army Air Force and navigating that B-29 from Guam to Japan.

I am thankful for CMC and its Memoir Writing Courses and our writers group that meets every two weeks as we work on our memoirs.

I am thankful that our country is realizing the wrongs we committed to the indigenous peoples of North America.

I am so thankful for Katie my black second Mom who was raised by my grandmother from age 3.

Wow! have a lot to be thankful for! More than I thought. Try it, you might come to the same conclusion.

But, what I am especially thankful for is that I have had a guardian angel named Sarah for the last 60 years.

Frosty Merriott of Carbondale is a longtime local CPA, former member of the Carbondale Board of Trustees and current appointed member of the town Environmental Board.

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