The celebration of Thanksgiving commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. It is an expression of gratitude, thankfulness, family gatherings. Family ought not be blood. While a joyous time for many with family gatherings, the holidays are the hardest time of year for many. Not to squelch your happy holiday but for those who are holding on by a string, who are resting on the edge, you have my thoughts, my prayers, and my wishes.
What I continue to be reminded about, and continue to experience is that it really is darker before the dawn. I have seen particularly dark days and worse, nights. Holidays that I couldn’t even acknowledge for survival. This is the time of year that suicides increase. This is also the time of year where couples who have parted ways usually get back together, and then by Spring have broken up again….. Hey, I’m not making this crap up! If you are hurting, if you are struggling, hang on, hang tough. Many years I had to make this day like every other day, blocking out festivities, celebrations. On one Thanksgiving I slept all day for escape. This year? This year I hope to feel well enough to go to my brothers and spend time with family. This holiday holds many painful memories for me, not to be discussed. It is not the time nor place. This year I am going to try to change that, to visit with my family, perhaps call my only remaining living sister who lives in NC (Not worried about her having a nice holiday, they always have a wonderful time!). I will also reminisce and most probably, drop a few tears in thinking about my sisters, acknowledging how much I miss them, confessing how much I adore(d) and need(ed) them. I am grateful for tears, as they acknowledge the lives of those no longer with me, and my own humanness.
My nephews used to spend a lot of time at my house. Every night before we went to sleep we would do a “gratitude alphabet”. What we were thankful for that started with A…b….c…. This went on for years. On the nights where we were exhausted and just wanted to tuck them in and go to bed, they would remind ME that we needed to do the gratitude alphabet. It was fun. Sometimes we would get so silly, my nephews laughing, the eldest with his hand over his mouth laughing, was the sweetest thing! The youngest always saying something comical. I cherish these memories, I cherish these times. I am grateful for all, and that they are still a part of my life. Everyday, in my thoughts.
Here is my gratitude alphabet for this Thanksgiving.
A- Acceptance, Abilities, Art, Apple crisp, amusement, animals, architecture, answers, affection, awareness
B- Brody,(my and my sister-in-laws)”Boys”, belief, beads & beading, Brushes (paint), bathes, boots, bling
C-Caring, comfort, creativity, chocolate, compassion, crocheting, cats, clothing, character, connection, carhartts (on men), communication
Color!, comedy, calmness
D-My dad, Darlene (my youngest sister), daisies, dill pickles, designing, desire, decorative painting, dogs, dreams
E-Empathy, emergency teams (police, firefighters, doctors, nurses, paramedics), enlightening, emotions, energy, effort, education
F-Faith, Family, friends (Love you all so very much, and too many of you to name…. okay okay, so I’m being lazy!), Food, fountain pens, fireplace, forgiveness, feelings, fashion
G-God, gratitude, grace, growth, gardening, giving
H-Hope, Humility, humbling, home, health, healing, humanity, honesty, humor, hiking, helping, healthcare providers (caregivers)
I-Intelligence, intrigue, interests, ingenuity, introversion, intuition, isolation, individuality, independence
J- Joy, Jim, Jeep (I love my jeep), jokes
K-karma, kindness, knowledge, kindred spirits
L-Love, life, laughter, learning
M-Memories, moments, music, Milk!, mindfulness, mittens, medical breakthroughs, machines, mountains, meditation
N-Nurturance, nature, notebooks, nourishment, Newfoundland (What an experience), naps
O-Open mindedness, Objectivity, Oncologist, Order, Organization
P-Passion, painting, peace, Psychiatrist, positivity, prayers, perseverance, pleasant surprises, plower (snow), perseverance, progress
Q-Quilts, (Curly) Q’s, Questions
R-Rest. relaxation, recovery, respect (for self and others), rubbish day
S-Senses, Students, Sense of humor, shelter, seasons, sketch pads, sun, siblings, sweatshirts, sincerity, spirits, sleep, serenity
T-Today, Therapy, Therapist, Time, Truth, Touch, texture, technology
U-Understanding, United States, Unity
V- Violets (flower and color), Vivid Dreams (Visits), Vulnerability, Visualization, Veterans (Thank you!)
W-Water, Writing, Wool socks, wool, wishing. walking, work
Y-Yesterday, yams, yearnings, youth (guaranteed to make me smile)
Love this! I’ll be adding more to this list all night long…… What’s yours?