This is one of my favorite holidays because for me I get to see my parents, brothers, and extended family. I get to eat a home cooked meal that my father takes days to prepare. I get to drive through the countryside with my husband and look at the beauty around me.
This year I for whatever reason I just cannot seem to get into the spirit of the season. I watch as so many people on Facebook post simultaneously snide comments about our country, and our political standings, and our President and their dissatisfaction with this, or that, and how unhappy they are that day because someone in a grocery line for 20 items has 22 items, or how they hate people, or how their life just sucks…then buoyantly they post their daily November “I am grateful for…”.
Our society as a whole is a greedy, self-serving model. We are a capitalist nation. Now this is just a fact that our forefathers rejected the idea of a monarchy and established a government where people were independent, and could if they wanted to better themselves. This model works for us in many ways. But what it does not do is automatically take care of those who are stepped on at the bottom. So the government said wait a minute let us also help our fellow man. And those people are given a wee bit of help.
We are a society who likes new shinny objects. So much that we will stand in a ridiculous line (in the cold of deep autumn) for a deal, on the VERY day in which our forefathers granted for us to take a moment and give thanks.
I have to laugh as I read articles this month about states writing petitions to secede the Nation, and become their own countries, while simultaneously stating how they are “Proud to be American”.
Are we a grateful, giving, and charitable nation? Is our society even capable of giving thanks?
I give thanks every day. Charity, kindness and support for others are a daily goal of mine. I don’t give to a food bank just once a season, or give clothes to a drive once a year. I strive to give what I can as much as I can, and I am wealthy because of it (maybe not monetarily, but my heart feels great!).
This year some would think that I am crazy to be as full of joy as I am. Last year on Thanksgiving Zoë and I ate our Thanksgiving meal in a corner of the living room all by ourselves. She nursed, as I ate from a plate Zeppo prepared for me. I had never known true thanks until that moment. I had a husband who cut up my turkey into bite size pieces, my family talking and laughing in the kitchen, a warm fire, a roof over my head. I will never forget the moment of looking down at Zoë and feeling more love than I had ever before.
This year I am grateful that I know I will have another chance at motherhood. I feared the possibility that I would not be able to carry another child, not for medical reasons…just I had not been so lucky in the past.
I have heard many people say, “No one deserves this more than you”, in reference to my current pregnancy. But really? Is that the case? I don’t believe so. Deserve is a strange word. Again I feel like it is one of those sayings that we would only use here in our society. The word deserve means; to be worthy of: merit. The synonyms are earn, merit, rate. So am I “worthy” of having another child? I don’t know that any one is worthy to take care of another human. Let’s face it parents (all parents) make huge and weird mistakes with their children. Most children are just an ongoing experiment, with lessons learned, and lessons to be learned. We are fallible, imperfect, and often time (for first time parents) vastly under experienced or knowledgeable.
I don’t think that I have the right to have children than any other person who wants to be a parent. Do I deserve this more or less than the gay couple who wants to adopt? Or how about the teen girl who accidentally got pregnant her senior year and decided to keep the baby? How do we rate this desirability? I don’t think it is quantifiable.
I guess what I am trying to get at on this day of reflection and thanks is…that I am Thankful, Grateful, and Humbled any, and every day of the year. I am so lucky to just be here. I am lucky that life has sprung up again miraculously, and I am so honored to be surrounded by a family who knows how precious life is.
Zoë taught me what love is. What gratefulness is. She has also taught me to not fear death, and to respect that it will come for us all when our time is up. So until then, to live life to the best of our abilities every day, not just one this our national day of Thanks.
I can only hope that our country learns from our forefathers that it is important to take a moment to give thanks, and truly reflect on what we have, and to do this not just once a year, but every day. I hope to see more of an understanding as to why the Government has programs for those who are less fortunate. What kind of a people are we if we don’t take care of the weak, infirmed, elderly, and innocent?
I don’t just give Thanks, I radiate a humble gratitude that I am here, I am healthy, and I have known the greatest love. That is what I am grateful for today.
I sign off with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s uncle Alex Vonnegut who said it best when he said, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is’.”