The other day I watched a program giving the history of Thanksgiving.... very very different than what schoolchildren are taught it is meant to be, and I presume not many adults know the real story behind it, either.
I like the idea of people gathering together to share their gratitude for the abundance in their lives. But, I also don't like the idea much that it should be held just one day a year. Perhaps life just passes us by so quickly that the moment arrives and leaves before we can say, thank you for that, friend.
I'm so full of gratitude that I am even alive that every breath is a blessing, and everything after that is like, WOW! including the bad stuff. For without the bad stuff, how easily we would forget to enjoy the ordinary. It's not like I go around life smiling from ear to ear. My mind knows this stuff the way I know how to spell my name. But, do I go around "feeling" my name as something to appreciate all the time? No. So even though I know how lucky I am, I am still much like anyone else when it comes to having feelings that are not always filled with thankfulness and joy.
I thought and thought about what does Thanksgiving mean to me. I wondered what picture I might have to represent it. Nothing would come to mind. I examined why. I rolled it around in my head. Thanksgiving means nothing to me at the moment. But why? All the things it meant to me in the past, no longer apply.
And then, it dawned on me. This has been a very painful year. People I love have died.
Am I thankful they are dead? NO!
Am I filled with gratitude that they've gone on to heaven? NO!
Because they are not here with me.
No, I'm not glad they've gone on to heaven.
GOD! GIVE THEM BACK!
I ain't got no gratitude.
I can feel my Sunday school teacher waggling her finger at me right now, "Shame, shame for talking to God like that."
Yes, I am grateful they are no longer suffering. But, I am not thankful that it was only this one way that stopped their suffering.
Okay, so this isn't a cheerful posting. A thoughtful one maybe. A truthful one because these are my exact feelings.
But, definitely a hopeful one.
I am thankful that my son-in-law was accidentally diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.
I am thankful that it is one of the "easy" kinds of Thyroid Cancer. The kind that has the very highest survival rate. Where have I heard that before? Okay, I'm not all that thankful. I'm thankful with an underlying uneasiness.
I am thankful for my daughter's knowledge and education which caused her to withdraw her husband from the scheduled surgical procedure to be done at their local well-meaning doctor and hospital.
I am thankful that she has the chutzpah to contact City of Hope, a prestigious cancer hospital, of finagle an appointment right away for her husband. He was scheduled to have his thyroid removed yesterday.
This year my daughter will not have thanksgiving
My grandkids will not have thanksgiving.
My great grandkids will not have thanksgiving.
Who would cook the turkey? Not me, I'm a seven hour drive from where they live and even if I got there, I wouldn't have the ability to put together a splendid meal. And who would eat it, anyways? Not my son-in-law, not my daughter, not my five grandkids. Of the four great grandkids, perhaps two are young enough that they would be able to enjoy it. Scott's mother is going to be by his side, along with his brothers and step-mother. They wont be cooking, nor eating much but a sandwich or whatever they can grab it at the hospital.
Thanksgiving has been put on hold this year. I think we will all be holding our collective breath until next year when he has recovered from surgery and had his radioactive iodine isotope treatments.
Still I am thankful that my daughter has such a wonderful man for a husband, that my grandkids have a great daddy and my great grandkids have a wonderful grandpa!