I woke up virtually unaware it was even Thanksgiving this morning; it does not feel like a holiday to me for several reasons. The fact that I am currently residing in a state with two seasons, hot and less hot, does not make me feel very festive and almost makes me irritated when I see Christmas lights against the backdrop of the Camelback Mountains or when draped around a saguaro cactus.
However, the fact that my children have stopped speaking to me some months ago and I am almost two thousand miles away from the man I love does little to add to my holiday cheer. In fact, it leaves me feeling downright Grinchy. So, when I woke up this morning and headed to the gym, it was just another day to me.
Only when I was forced to plaster a fake smile on my face and spend the afternoon eating a dead bird and a sack of potatoes on the lanai while the 80 degree sun shone down melting the ice in our tea at the home of my sister’s relatives did it finally strike me that it was indeed Thanksgiving. No, it was not my Thanksgiving, not even close. I would be celebrating in an entirely different way; but, those days are gone, at least for now.
As I sat there at the table breaking bread with a sister I have known sporadically as an adult, barely knew as a child, and her relatives, with my best Stepford Wife smile, insinuated into their lives temporarily, I tried to fit in. They talked easily with each other about their mundane lives, their memories, and their shared relatives. I smiled politely, helped with the dishes, and held back my tears.
While the sun was setting on the day, I decided I would take an inventory of my life and write down some of the things I have to be thankful and appreciative for even if they are not always apparent.
Even though my children do not speak to me, I have two intelligent, beautiful, and charming daughters; I hear through the family gossip mill that they are healthy and mostly happy, for that I am thankful. One of my daughters has two children, I do not know one, but the other is adorable, and I love him dearly; he surely does not even remember me now, but I hear he is fine, I am incredibly thankful for him. As for her daughter, I am certain she will be fine as well, so I am happy for my daughter.
I have a man who, while we are not together at this moment for various reasons, loves me even though I have given him many reasons to leave; I am more thankful for him than for anything. He is the love of my life.
I am reasonably healthy. Thankful.
My mother, sisters, and brother all have homes, and family and seem to be doing well despite the troubles in this country and the economic downturn in the recent years. Very thankful.
Life could be worse; I know it is for so many people. So, while my Thanksgiving Day was not what I would have envisioned, I am certain I will have many more; and I do have reasons to be thankful…
Sometimes you just have to look beyond the clouds to see the rainbows, I suppose. I hope you had a better holiday.