While it’s a total cliché to “give thanks” today on Thanksgiving, I’ve always found it important to acknowledge and share gratitude. So what better day than today. 2011 has been one of the worst years of my life. So I’ll start by thanking God, for crapping on me this year. Just kidding! I’ve finally begun to understand why what happened this year happened, and I’m starting to accept that I am exactly where I need to be. Would I have chosen this? No. But I have to think that means something greater than me is at work, and I need to embrace that.
One of the biggest thanks I can give this year is to my family, starting with my mom and stepdad. On that awful day in January when I was too weak to walk to the bathroom, my Mom and Marc raced over as soon as I called. They sat with me in the crowded E.R. as I tried to turn my wheelchair into a makeshift bed. Marc took Monty and played on the levee behind the hospital while my mom stayed with me, for the whole 10 hours we were there. Since then, I, at 27, have moved back in with my parents. It’s not exactly ideal but what I finally realized is, Thank God they took me in. I was at a point where I was absolutely unable to care for myself. They basically just “scooted over” and let me climb on board, never making me feel like a burden. That’s love. And that’s something to be grateful for. Two weeks after “the crash”, my sister Amelie flew in from California. She “extreme home makeover’d” my apartment, stocked my pantry and fridge with healthy food, found a massage therapist and bought me 10 sessions, researched homeopathic doctors, and cooked meals for me while she was here. The most beautiful part of that act of kindness was that I didn’t even ask her to do any of it. She did it all on her own. Her ability to anticipate needs and never wait to be asked for help has always impressed me. Since then, over and over people have shown their love and support in different ways. My aunt and grandma sent money to help pay for my doctor in Miami, which doesn’t take insurance. (Not that I have insurance anymore anyway. Because why would they give insurance to a sick person who actually needs it? Oh wait…) My brother and sister-in-law let me crash on their couch in New York City for a month and lay around and write. I became their self-appointed sick, adopted child. That was kewl. Gabe let me live at his house in Nola for free while taking classes in the city. Kaitlin gave me a bag of the movies we find funniest to cheer me up while in a sickly depression. In big and small ways, a lot of people stepped in. I’m lucky.
There is plenty to be grateful for, even in the midst of hardship. In fact sometimes it is in those dark times that we are able to see real reason for gratitude that perhaps we’d skipped over before. Truthfully this year has kicked my ass, beginning literally on January 1st. Upon losing my health, I lost my job, a relationship, my apartment, and perhaps most painfully, my independence. But what I have begun to gain is perspective. A reason to dig deeper, wade through the crap, and find purpose. I’ve got a long way to go. A long way. But I’ve got a roof over my head, food on the table, and the priceless gift of unconditional love. That means I’m not alone at the end of the day. And that’s what I’m most grateful for.
Health and Happiness and Happy T-giving!