Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a fan of Thanksgiving. There’s a classic picture of a three month old me grabbing a turkey leg from my shocked Mama’s hand. She had merely been posing the leg in my hand for pictures, and I decided I wanted it. I think there are more photos of me, on Thanksgiving, than any other holiday. It was such a vivid part of my life, as a child: cooking with my parents.
Since my Mama died, Thanksgiving has changed drastically for me. At first, it was this weird holiday that was wrapped up in the whirlwind of the despair of my mother’s illness and then death. For years, it was painful to endure. Then, I started to find comfort in it again. As I started to find gratitude for all things–good and bad–the joy of living and the pain of crazy grief…it became easier to be part of it again.
Life, this year, has been absolutely insane. Finishing a Master’s program and writing a thesis in 8 weeks is not a fun time. There have been so many moments of panic–so many moments when I literally questioned why I’m doing this…why now? I’ve had little time for anything, really, between healing myself and working and the day to day living that must be done.
The crazy is ongoing. I have two more weeks. I’m freaking out even in writing that.
But I promised myself that–this year–I will take some time to pause and have a good meal. To remember this life and what I love about it. To reach out to people I’ve missed. And just be here.
Tonight, I’m grateful for…
- All the experiences that have brought me to this moment and this life.
- All the people I’ve loved–even those I still have trouble forgiving.
- All the people I miss. I will show up sooner rather than later…promise.
- The people who are always here–even when we drive each other absolutely insane. I appreciate your loyalty and your willingness to forgive me when I mess up and can’t be my best self. Thanks for showing up for me.
- For the healers in my life who show me new things every day and open this heart of mine wider than I can imagine.
- For the role models–famous and anonymous–who show me the value of courage and the truth.
- For the strangers who’ve witnessed this life and held my hand when I thought the world was cold.
- For the people who believed when I couldn’t.
- For all the lost ones who remind me to rethink my faith.
- For those fighting to live, just like me.
- For the crusaders who inspire me to light the way.
- For the artists who say things with images that defy vocabularies.
- For my sweet kitties who teach me about love and intimacy.
- For the privilege of learning and the option of 2nd/3rd choices.