Here’s to You! 10 Toasts from Momma G

Here’s to the winners of the human race           
Here’s to the losers in the game
Here’s to the soldiers of the bitter war
Here’s to the wall that bears their names

Here’s to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here’s to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start

~Michael Kenneth Been- “The Call”

For as long as people have gathered together over a drink, we have saluted each other with a toast.  We toast to celebrate accomplishments.  We toast to remember those who have passed.  We toast to the newly born, we toast to love, we toast to live.  I thought about this as I listened to The Call sing “Let the Day Begin,” and wondered if I were given the opportunity to deliver several salutes, how would I toast?  Although I do admit to enjoying a Margarita now and then, my limited capacity for alcohol would allow me only ten toasts- and small sips at that.  Anyway,  here they are- in no particular order.  What are yours?

  1. To Mahatma Gandhi, for his unwavering commitment to nonviolent civil disobedience and determination to end poverty and liberate women.
  2. To Tom Harrington, Chick Martin and Anna Dalton- the high school English teachers who taught me that a grammatically correct sentence is the key to clear communication, and that the power of the written word should never be underestimated.
  3. To my siblings.  The quirkiest, oddest combination of adults gathered under one roof who know me well and love me just the same.
  4. To the Ratskeller; Southeastern Massachusetts University’s campus bar where I discovered that I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed my harmonies set to Mary Gillen’s melodies. 
  5. To my father, Charles Madison, for teaching me to dream.  Never once did he discourage me from trying something new and different- even if it was a bit reckless and unsafe.  If not for him, I would not have had the courage to go to college, to join VISTA, to travel, or to celebrate my fifty-something year by experiencing a burning smoke house with a bunch of twenty-something recruits.  They may have been faster, more agile and had less muscle pain the next day, but I definitely had the most fun.
  6. To the Monson Library, whose granite walls held far away worlds I could visit whenever I wanted.
  7. To Mother Theresa, who raised the bar for putting faith into action, and showed the world that size and station have nothing to do with the capacity to love.
  8. To Philo T. Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin.  The jury’s still out as to which one of these men is really responsible for inventing television, but suffice to say, their combined efforts have filled my life with music, dance, adventure and drama with just the click of a remote control’s button.
  9. To my mother, whose endless nurturing and acceptance  taught me that love is an act rather than a feeling, and that freely given, its return has immeasurable bounty.
  10. To my children.   I thought I knew how to love before my children were born, but without them, I would only have scratched the surface.  They have brought out the worst and the best in me, tried my patience, pushed me to tears, made my heart swell and brought meaning to every moment of my life.  I will love them forever, even if they do leave dirty dishes in the sink. 


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