Friday, November 23, 2012

I am thankful

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and no matter what people are going to say about how the first Thanksgiving got its start or what exactly was eaten on that first day, one truth remains: It is a day we should all set aside some time to give thanks. I have noticed a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter sharing what they are thankful for for each day of this month, but if anyone is going to give thanks on any particular day in November, it is Thanksgiving Day.

So yesterday, as we sat down to our feast of a turkey and all the fixings, we shared what we are thankful for. We each shared one thing, but all day long I was counting my blessings.

I am thankful to be alive, especially after that car accident I was in, that time my heart stopped while in surgery and after surviving a bout with spinal meningitis that left me deaf.

I am thankful for my family, even the ones who have not been so pleasant or kind. Even the ones who have abused or wronged me in the past. I am thankful, because all of those experiences made me a stronger, smarter and better person. (In other words, not like them!)

I am thankful for my husband and for taking second chances. We may drive each other crazy and fight, but I know he is the right man for me and he is good to us, too. He is the yang to my yin, and I love him.

I am thankful for my children, the greatest blessing I have ever received.

I am thankful for my gift to write.

I am thankful that my son can read and write some words.

I am thankful my daughter can create such beautiful art and write exciting stories.

I am thankful for my friends, the REAL friends who have stuck by me no matter what and all through these years. And I’m especially thankful for being able to recognize who my real friends are.

I am thankful for my relatives, even those who I have not seen for years and don’t even talk to because we don’t know each other or can’t connect in some way.

I am thankful for the experiences I’ve had in life, especially the bad experiences, because the bad experiences have made me appreciate the good experiences all the more. Both good and bad experiences have made me who I am today.

I am thankful for this beautiful home we have.

I am thankful my dog is still with us, after 18 years!

I am thankful for technology to help me communicate with others more easily and stay in touch with long-distance friends and family. And for the technology that allows me, a deaf person, to watch movies with subtitles and closed captioning.

I am thankful I can still talk, that I have a voice to speak with.

I am thankful I can still see, although not as good as before.

I am thankful I can still remember music and some of my favorite songs. I may not hear them ever again but I do hear them in my head.

I am thankful to be a Real Published Author and to have written many books (with many more on the way!).

I am thankful to all of the teachers I have had who helped me to learn to read, write, do math and understand the world we live in.

I am thankful for books.

I am thankful for coffee.

I am thankful for modern medicine and to the doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and specialists out there who have helped us.

I am thankful for living in a free country and to those who fought and lost their lives to make this a free country.

I am thankful that there are kind, honest and generous people in this world.

I am thankful there are people promoting peace, especially during a time when there is so much violence and bloodshed in this world. 
I am thankful that there are groups out there helping people in need -- the soup kitchens, food banks, disaster relief groups, warming centers, shelters and other groups helping animals and people.

I am thankful that we live in a country that respects all religions.

I am thankful to God for answering the prayers He has answered and helping me to understand why some prayers were not answered.

I am thankful for the people who I have crossed paths with, especially those who are no longer in my life.   

I am thankful for having so much while others out there have so little…

And that last one is one I keep thinking about. Especially after reading in the paper about people who survived Hurricane Sandy but have nothing left. Nothing but the clothes on their backs. I was especially moved by the story of one woman who lost her home and everything in it, but was so thankful this Thanksgiving that her two sons also survived the storm.

Reading that one story alone made everything else I thought about pale in comparison. It made me close my eyes and say a little prayer for all the victims of Hurricane Sandy, that they would have new homes, food to eat and each other to hold on to. Especially each other. I prayed all the families were together and safe again.

This Thanksgiving, those people REALLY had something to be thankful for. They didn’t have a table to eat their meal at or a kitchen to cook their food in or even their own beds to sleep in anymore, but they had each other. I am thankful for that, too.

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