I have some thoughts about the origin story we traditionally associate with this holiday, but I do think it’s a sound thing to set aside a day to come together with family and friends and reflect on the things in our lives we are thankful for.
So in that spirit, here are a few of the blessings I’m counting today:
I’m thankful for my health.
Three years ago I was in a steady decline, and two and a half years ago I nearly died. Today my strength and stamina have rebounded to normal levels. I can do most of the things I want to do, though I’m not as young as I used to be. I’m not in chronic pain. Most days, I feel pretty darn good.
And I’m healthy not only in body, but in mind. Memories of my days with Bob the Brain Tumor are somewhat hazy, but I remember the exhaustion, the confusion, the brain fog and confusion. Now I feel as though my brain works better than it ever has. I’m working toward a new career as a writer, and if that doesn’t pan out, I’ll work toward something else. I’m so very thankful to have the capacity to do that now.
I’m thankful for my family.
They are 100% here for me when I need them, but they have the confidence to step back and let me soar on my own. Their strength and encouragement have allowed me to reach amazing heights, and I love them without reservation.
This goes not just for my immediate family – MrH and the boys. My mom and her boyfriend, my sister, my aunts and uncles and cousins have been and continue to be a huge part of my life. I’ve recently reconnected with a bunch of my cousins on FaceBook, and it’s been wonderful getting to know them again. If I have one regret this Thanksgiving, it’s that I’m not able to travel and see everyone in person. I miss you guys!
I suppose I may as well count my feline family in here, too. Their affection, their companionship, their presence in my life have enriched it beyond measure.
I’m thankful for my friends.
The past few years have been an explosion of making new friends and renewing contact with old ones. Three years ago, as I slipped into shadow, I couldn’t even think of anyone to turn to. Now, I have a veritable cornucopia of friends and friendly acquaintances, both in the physical world and online.
I’m so very glad you all are here!
I’m thankful for the roof over my head and the food on my table.
Yes, things are getting tight here. But many people don’t have a roof over their heads or a meal on the table tonight – or even a table to put food on. We’ve been through tight times before, and we’ve turned them around. I have every reason to believe we can do it again.
I’m thankful for the progress I’ve made in adapting to blindness.
A long time ago, shortly after I first lost my eyesight, a friend asked how my “affliction” had affected my writing. “Blindness isn’t an affliction,” I joked. “It’s just an extreme change of perspective.”
So many times I can remember looking back and thinking that I’d come a long way. I’d learned so much. I’d adapted so well. And I had! And yet, a short while later, I’d look back to that time and see how much farther I’d come since then.
Blindness has been a journey of growth, of discovery. It’s taught me to trust my other senses and learn new ways of being in the world. It’s not something I would have chosen for myself, but since it chose me, I’m glad I’ve been able to come to terms with it.
There are other things I’m thankful for, of course. But I think those are the big ones.
I need to go and check the Thanksgiving chickens (turkeys were a bit scarce on the ground this year) and finish getting dinner on the table. Friends are coming over to help us eat it, and we’ll have a good time.
Life is good.
Hope yours is, too.