Thanksgiving. It brings so many things to mind, but most of all being grateful for what we have and for those who make our lives special. And I am grateful.
I am grateful, most of all, for Rick. Rick will drive the speed limit, curse vigorously at the potholes (and in Michigan that means a lot of cursing!), bemoans football on TV non-stop, has rabbit ears for his television set (he can get all the cable he needs -- and he doesn't need much -- at my house) and has a kitchen table stacked like the normal curve. And he's always right. Just ask him!
And none of that matters. (In fact, it gives some good fodder for teasing!)
Would anyone but Rick have befriended a schizophrenic man who "picked him up" at Panera, helping him with some of the mechanics of social services, sharing birthday lunches with him, occasionally having him for dinner and serving as his local emergency contact? His friend can be very trying, but that's what makes it special.
I've never seen a man love his grandchildren more than Rick does his toddler twosome. I'm sure some of you may argue with me on this and claim you and yours love their grands more. I will disagree. Not more. As much, I certainly hope so!
And no one could be supportive of me, especially when waiting for test results or when I'm missing my mom and dad, who will listen to me cry, understand how scared I might be and never, ever, let's me feel he will be anywhere but there for me. No matter what.
I am grateful for my family. I'm an only child. My cousins are more like siblings and we spent almost every summer together from the time I was 13 until I graduated from college. Our mothers died seven months apart. The first Thanksgiving without them would have been unbearable without each other.
More than 40 years have passed since that above photo was taken. Since then, the dads have left the picture but new faces have joined in, each and every one a treasure.
I am grateful for the friends who bless our lives and who come through when we so need their support. This photo was taken a number of years ago after Rick's serious cycling accident. On that Thanksgiving morning, we decided to host dinner for friends who weren't otherwise engaged. No planning, no party favors. Just food and friendship. It is possibly my favorite Thanksgiving. It's not a great photo, but the friendship more than makes up for it.
I am equally grateful for blog friends, whose visits and comments never fail to make me smile; whose blogs continually teach and inspire me and whose support over the years has been a touchstone. You are incredibly special to me.
I am grateful to have a home I love, a cat that makes it hairy and for whatever talent I may have been fortunate to have or acquire.
I am grateful to be able to say I feel safe. Safety is so very important in this world and so many can't experience it.
And I am grateful that despite a very rough year for Rick and me physically, we continue to soldier on. You'd never know he broke his leg. The jury is out on me, but I am always the optimist and hopefully not having to deal with anything worse than a routine colonoscopy for awhile.
I am grateful for the bounty that exists in my world. I know in many ways I am one of the lucky ones and I try to give it back and pay it forward. But I will never forget that I am very fortunate indeed.
And so, during this Thanksgiving season (if you are in the U.S.), harvest time elsewhere or the start of the busy season, whether it is "your" holiday or not, I hope you'll take time to relax and enjoy for a day or two or three.
After all, we're all going to be very tired and very busy, and very soon!
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