It occurred to me that in light of it being Thanksgiving weekend, I need to express my gratitude and what I am thankful for. My apologies if my list is mundane or common. (Also my apologies for the 4-letter words if they offend.)
At the risk of being repetitive, I am thankful for my daughter. She is my joy (most of the time) and my reason for stepping out of bed each morning, usually because she is loudly shouting out for me to come get her. How many other 4 year olds wait for a parent to get them out of a bed that they are fully capable of exiting on their own? Yet another thing to be grateful for.
I am grateful for my husband and stepson. They teach me patience (sometimes this lesson happens a little too late to be useful, but who’s keeping track?), understanding and how to love and see past a plethura of characteristics that make me batty at times. They are good men and are always eager to please people, which is an admirable quality for someone like myself, who generally doesn’t give a shit what other people think (not in a selfish way, I am a giving person, but not so caught up in others’ opinions of me). They are silly, and I appreciate that. I am not a silly person, despite occassional episodes of attempted foolery. It is important to be silly sometimes and they make our home a fun place and lighten my seriousness. My husband is the hardest working man I’ve ever met and I appreciate that, even when sometimes it makes me feel guilty because I am NOT the hardest working woman I’ve ever met. I am thankful my stepson is bright and witty, because I have a sadly low tolerance for stupidity. I am thankful my husband can cook, because I can’t make gravy or a roasted anymeat to save my life.
I am grateful for my family that don’t live in my house (and sometimes grateful THAT they don’t live in my house). My parents were young when I was born, and I am privileged to still have them around and relatively healthy and vivacious. I have lived through the drawn-out, agonizing illness and death of my father-in-law and watched friends do the same in the past few years, and I am so thankful that my parents are not in that category. I hope and pray daily that when their time comes, first of all, it will be a LONG time from now and secondly, it will be quick, painless and while they are asleep. I am grateful that my mother is making Thanksgiving dinner this year so that we don’t end up with 18 people at our dinner table, as is often the case. I have one sibling, a brother, whom I adore, despite his consistent lack of answers to my phone calls or his general ability to love me from afar (as we hardly ever spend time together). He is brilliant and hilarious and I am so thankful for his never-ending love and support through everything I have experienced in life.
I have 3 cats that most people who know me would categorize in the “unhealthy attachment” category. Yes, I am thankful for my pets. They love me no matter how bad my breath stinks or what I am wearing. They comfort me when I am sad (you probably won’t believe this, but my oldest cat, a male, once used his front paw to wipe a tear from my cheek) and they wake me up almost daily at obscene hours of the morning, usually just to get me to stroke them or snuggle them.
I am grateful for my country. Canada is not perfect, but compare it to 99.9% of the other countries in the world, and I think we hit the jackpot. I am proud to be Canadian and I love my country. Despite all it’s faults, free healthcare is still keeping me alive and I am happy that I can vote as I choose and wear what I want and worship whatever or whomever I want without fear.
Some newer friends often express amazement at the amount of hardship I’ve experienced in life, both physically and emotionally. I could probably captivate an Oprah audience, but oddly enough – I am thankful for hardship. I have triumphed over most of these mountains in the road and despite the cliche, it has made me a stronger person. I have been tested and I have failed a few, but I now know how to deal with a whole lotta shit that most people only read about. You can’t truly experience the joys in life if you haven’t been at the bottom of your soul’s barrel.
I am thankful to be alive. My childhood cancer combined with various other serious illnesses and karmic muderous attempts could have easily made that statement impossible, but somehow I have survived and continue to do so. I don’t always live each day to the fullest, nor do I always feel lucky to be alive, but in general, I am happy that this is the case.
I have some awesome friends that I am thankful for. I have been blessed enough to garner a support group of incredible people who each have their own special contributions to my life. I feel a greater extended family through these people, even when they are being brutally honest with me like only a friend of 30 years can be. That is a gift, to have friends that have known you since you were a tween, and I don’t take that for granted and try to do my best to be a good friend back.
My life is good. Life is good. Be Thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.