I love Thanksgiving. Yes, it is for all the obvious reasons. The day is filled with wonderful food, it is the beginning of the Christmas Season, and lots of TV viewing that starts with the parade, and ends with a string of NFL games. For better or worse, it is the holiday family and friends gather for all of the above with the expectation of a serene day of peaceful coexistence giving thanks for all the good in your life. I am blessed. I have the usual cast of characters to be thankful for – my husband who I love waking up to every morning, my kids who continue to want me to be part of their life, and to the memory of my mother whose strong personality put up with more than she deserved. But there were those that have entered my life that made its impact on me and I am grateful.
Except for a bout with breast cancer fourteen years ago, and some surgeries that have rebuilt my spine and my right shoulder, I have not suffered physically. I have overcome my ailments and at the age of 66, I can say that I am relatively healthy while others much younger than I have not. Some have survived their battles while others I remember for their valiant but futile attempt to overcome their illness. I am thankful to have been one of those who survived and continue to make my life worthwhile but remember that life can change in an instant.
Living in a wonderful community with good friends and and a comfortable lifestyle makes one forget that there are others outside your walls that are less fortunate and maybe always were less entitled. I think of those who were plagued with natural disaster such as the hurricanes that hit this year in Houston and Puerto Rico. Some had the same lifestyle I had before disaster struck and others were never that better off to begin with. Why I am fortunate to be where I am is a mystery to me. Did I do something right or did I just get lucky.
When the Thanksgiving parade is over, and the ballad of “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie is played and the last of the Thanksgiving dinner is done, I look forward to the Christmas Season. I am thankful for that but think it is time for me to do more to help those who are less fortunate. Not sure what that means yet but will figure it out.