Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

This is one of my very favorite days of the year because first of all it's a day I can gleefully and without guilt fill my plate with all foods beige and secondly (and not in this order, okay maybe in this order), it's a day to reflect on all that I have to be grateful for. (Included on that list is the new, relaxed rules for writing that say I can end my sentences with a proposition if I feel like it, so there Mrs. Dickerson.)

It's been a year in which I was grateful to be functional enough to travel to see beautiful places and more importantly, beautiful people who I love, who, although we are not related by blood or marriage, are a part of me; they are family.

It's been a year in which some truly amazing women came into my life and now they too are a part of me and they too are family.

It's been a year in which I am again grateful for my incredible family and as I look at the photos of my nieces and nephews and think about the kind of people they are, the kind of hearts they have and the intentions with which they live their lives, I not only feel privileged to be their Aunt, I am hopeful for our future.

It's been a year in which I've been lucky enough to continue to have some very long time friends who are so special to me. While there are times we are not present in each other's lives on a daily basis, our friendships are strong and filled with love.

It's been a year in which, because of the power of email and Facebook, I have over and over and over and especially during difficult days, been oh so grateful for my community of cyberspace friends who fill my Wall and my inbox with love, support and laughter.

It's been a year in which I am, as always, grateful to share my home with two wonderful men, one hairier and cuter than the other. Of course the less hairy one sheds less so they each have their strengths. There were times this year it was not clear Stone would be here to share another Thanksgiving with me. I am so very grateful he's here by my side eagerly awaiting our traditional Thanksgiving Day walk in the woods.

It's been a year in which a woman I knew 30 + years ago opened her life and her heart to me during the last 8 weeks of her life and gave me the incredible privilege of helping her through her last great challenge. I surely got more than I gave, as I walked with her on her journey, because I was reminded to treasure each precious moment in life and because being there for others in need, well, to me, this is the point of life, this is my religion, my church, my temple, and my fun, funny, backflipping friend Leslie gave me the great gift of helping her when she needed it most and I am and will be eternally grateful.

And, because of our shared affection and compassion for Leslie, I had the amazing privilege of having a front row seat to watch the outpouring as a group of people who went to school together nearly 35 years ago came together to not only support Leslie and her family, but to vow we would be there for the next person to face a great crisis and the next and the next. We vowed to be there with prayers, with cards and emails, with friendly visits, with food and with funds. The Class of '79 Benevolent Fund is ready and waiting for the next classmate in need. I am thankful I got to bear witness on the incredible generosity of spirit that unfolded.

Yes, this has been a year that I have so very much to be thankful for.

And so tonight as my plate is filled to the brim with beige food, my heart will be filled with gratitude.