On Thursday, the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving, honoring the the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies when the Wampanoag Native Americans shared their harvest feast with the colonists. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Thanksgiving Day in November. President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially set the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving in 1941. (Cue the music!)
In most years the holiday is marked with televised parades and football and a massive celebratory dinner with family and/or friends. This year's will be a little different. As Covid rages throughout the country, wise Americans are limiting their celebrations, perhaps only having household members at the table. It's the right and smart thing to do. But it is different. And for many, a big adjustment.
As we are giving thanks for the blessings of the year, many reflect on the personal or collective issues for which they are grateful. And yet for many, the day will be touched by the grief of loss of a family member, a good friend, or even the family pet. Yes, loss is rampant in our world today, not only through death but through the loss of things we took for granted -- loss of a job or family income, the ability to travel without additional nervousness or being able to hold those little grandchildren in our arms are several of the many losses that come to mind.
Still, there is much for which I have to be grateful this year and I will share a few of those things. At the top of the list is a supportive partner in Rick who has taken great care to protect me in these challenging times. For many months and with few exceptions, he has been my only ongoing human, face-to-face contact. I do not take that for granted.
I am grateful that despite a few nagging issues that will be with me forever, I am still healthy. I guess by that I mean I don't have Covid. So far, at least and each day I pray never. We have heard the stories from friends and neighbors who have had this disease and it has touched Rick's family with two of his relatives who fortunately are still here. Yes, grateful for safety.
I can't leave out how thankful I am for a talkative cat with a big purr who needs me because she doesn't have thumbs. She's a constant companion and yes, we talk to each other.
Grateful for a home that is warm and the resources to buy food and things I might not just need but want. For a cottage where I could hide away and isolate this summer and still feel somewhat normal. And for little things like cable and a computer and telephone. Things that keep me in touch.
Then there are the friends and family. Human contact -- even if it is on Zoom or twelve feet apart in the yard. People who care. I cannot imagine my life without the wonderful friends who have been part of it -- both in "real life" and online -- and that means you!
I am grateful that the administration in our country is turning toward a more mature, responsible leadership and filled with hope as we look toward repairing relationships around the world. This will not be easy and it will not be fast, but I'm confident that things will improve. I am so thankful for developments that promise a vaccine soon, and for the amazing men and women who so selflessly serve in our hospitals, doctor's offices, grocery stores and so very much more.
I take nothing for granted. We've seen how quickly life can be taken from us, how circumstances out of our control can change a world. Every day I am grateful simply for the fact that people I love --and I -- am still here.
I send all good wishes for a happy, healthy Thanksgiving if you celebrate and a lovely weekend no matter where you are!