Tomorrow is thanksgiving, and while I cannot give up my harping that it is a holiday based on the sugar-coating of a deep history of violent colonization which has now become an excuse for us to propel ourselves forward into gluttony and greed, I also think it is a valuable opportunity to tell the people you love how grateful you are to have them without them looking at you like a total weirdo. You can call someone up on or around thanksgiving and say, “Hey, you…yea, you! I’m glad you are around, I’m thankful for you.” Any other time of the year they may slap you upside the head and exclaim, “You poor sappy fool, you are at it again. Have you been drinking!?” Ok, maybe the exact reactions will vary depending on the degree of sappiness you and your loved ones are already prone to, but generally speaking, people can be put off my true, genuine, un-censored love. Which is a problem, but a problem that is exasperated by our constant drive for individual success and wealth. So we take a break each year (hopefully you do this more than once a year but if not, let the Turkey take you there) and love each other. Hopefully, thanksgiving is for you, as it is for me, a moment to cherish family. To cherish love, the cherish the gifts we are all given. Even the most unfortunate can find hope in the darkness and be thankful. I saw it first hand in the eyes of the women who had suffered violence in Northern Uganda, I saw it in the faces of the people in Denver living in a motel with no food for the holidays and I see it now, in my slightly a-symmetrical face. No matter what you are confronting, big to small, see past it, look around it, look under it or over it, but find the faith and the hope in it.
For those of you more worried on thanksgiving about your perfect pie and potatoes, relax a little. Even if it tastes like crap, people will tell you its delicious. Trust me. And, if it tastes like crap, it probably needs more butter. Trust me on that too, me and Paula Deen. And if none of that helps you, be thankful that you only have to make a weird congealed pumpkin pie once a year. Make the holiday less about food and football and more about love. Be grateful.
Obviously I am less angry and tired than I have been in a while. Two days of the stomach flu and a week off of school lets you know that what you are consumed with is not the biggest thing in the world. It’s just a hiccup, a bump in the road. So instead of being angsty about Herbert, I am taking this opportunity to be thankful. For you. You reading, sitting at your computer, hunched over, hanging on my every word. Yes, you. I’m thankful for you. You and your ability to walk along side me in this journey. You for being forgiving of me not knowing how to face you with my news about Herbert. You for being there for me when I found out. You for hugging me when I was too awkward for words. You for annoying me to the point I wasn’t mad at Herbert I was mad at you. You for sharing your story with me. You for keeping your super awkward story to yourself. You for your hopeful spirit. You for your endless resolve. You for sitting with me in my fear. You for making me laugh. You for listening to me cry. You for loving your family and showing me how. You for getting a tattoo with me! You for calling every night. You for the lunches full of laughter. You for the funny videos. You for showing up at every moment. You for putting your phone down and looking me in the eye. YOU. All of you. Thank you. Thank YOU so much.
So here I begin a running list of what I am thankful for…
I am thankful for my parents. Their devotion, not just to me but to all of their kids and family. Never in my life did I think I would learn to appreciate them as much as I have. They are my life, my light, my love.
My sisters – your conference calls make me laugh and cry. Your worry, your friendship, your love, I’m so lucky. I was born with the 2 best gal pals just waiting for me. Ready to be there, good and bad, ready to love me to death and annoy the crap out of me. You are perfect.
My brothers – you both give yourself over to others in your jobs, serving them, making them well, stronger, better, smarter, but it’s like you never even realized you had done that for all of us long ago. You were both heros before you ever “saved a life”
My love – laughing with you makes life worth living, you are relentless in your drive, your ambition and your warmth – I’m thankful to have that around me. I carry you with me everywhere.
My friends and family – I got lucky to have all of you. ALL OF YOU
My hearing – I mean hey – if you’ve got it, flaunt it!
My mostly symmetrical face – again, if you’ve got it flaunt it (note: as I type I am doing a little diva swish with my head)
My dog Teddy – your little wagging nub of a tail is the best.
Airplanes – they bring us together
Dinosaur jokes – they make us laugh
Turkey – thanks for sacrificing yourself so we can eat you.
Target stores- I know, my love of Target is pathetic.
24 hour fitness – gotta get that yucky energy out sometime!
The internet – ahh thanks for connecting us WWW
My heart – attached to you – present, living in today, not worrying (at least not right this second) about tomorrow, just enjoying this, THIS LIFE, this moment, here with you.
At the end of the day though, the thing I am most thankful for, is YOU.
Peace and love