Thursday, November 23, 2006


Oh there are days when I can barely get the word out of my mouth -- "Thanksgiving" -- days when I am so awash in the sea of my own delusion that I forget how lucky I am, how blessed. To forget that is like forgetting I have hands or feet or skin. Shame on me.

I think we need a Thanksgiving Day because LOTS of us are really bad about saying thank you for our blessings. I know that I am.

The holidays tend to focus us on the proposed traditional model -- or perhaps the marketable model -- of "family" life: multi-generational; straight; everyone gets along; no divorce ; no serious illness; no funerals to attend; happy and appreciative children; no family skeletons in family closets; no addiction; no poverty; no abuse; home ownership; filled shopping baskets; full larders; jolly jolly jolly.

The reality is that few fit that mold. Each of us has stories to tell that wrench us at some point out of that false image of who 'the world' thinks that we 'should' be.

I have spent my share of holidays crawling through shards of emotional broken glass, feeling bad because I was divorced, or childless, or or or or....and now, this year, I have no family. Everyone that was blood related to me in any close way (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) are all dead. I look at commercials of the holidays and it is like I am seeing a broadcast from Mars.

So I was prepared to feel grim.

I am so bloody stupid.

I just put a loaf of banana bread in the oven to take to Thanksgiving dinner at John's house. John is like a brother to me, and was very close to my Mom as well. We refer to each other as brother and sister. He and his husband, Mark, are preparing a dinner. They have been married for 9 years and are the healthiest couple I know. They love me, and I them.

How dare I say that I am without family! How dare I indulge an instant of self pity when I have a life filled with friends. A roof over my head. Food. And a life that would be regarded as extravagant in 3/4th of the world. Today, while I celebrate largess, people are dying, starving.

When I finish typing this I am going to go to Heifer.Org and give away a flock of geese or chickens or a hive of bees. If you do not know of this charity that is built on creating self-sustaining communities -- please click over there and learn.

Today, I will say thank you to God in part by giving to someone else. Many of you have already done that, I am sure -- through food banks and other charities. I encourage those of you who have yet to do that to take the plunge.

In closing, I was reading an article on Oprah's site that was promoting a book. It said :

A gripping testimonial to the stamina of the human spirit, Dream BIG! tells you how to:
stop fighting fear
get focused
create something from nothing
play beyond the rules and win
and why:
quitting is necessary
desperation is deadly
fighting is essential
suffering is optional

I would add "Thanking God is essential." But, the last line is one I will be taking with me through the holidays...."suffering is optional."


Blogger Shupac said...

I'm reminded that I'm thankful for the many thoughtful and kind people I've gotten to know via the internet. In spite of the folly that reigns in some corners of the net, I often come away from a blog crawl or a sesson on a BB thinking "There are so many smart and likeable people out there!"

Happy thanksgiving.

1:09 PM  

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