The Thanksgiving after the fire was perhaps the hardest day (other than the fire) I've had in my life.
My house was gone. My face was paralyzed. My baby wasn't sleeping. I was in the middle of my first dizzy episode. And I was SUPPOSED TO BE THANKFUL?! My mother in law's tradition is to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. I asked her not to. Honestly, I wasn't thankful. I was bitter. Angry. I wanted to scream at the universe and tell it to fuck off. I was done with the challenges, the lessons, the heartache. And I didn't even know that I was REALLY sick and in for an even more challenging battle ahead. When my turn came, I told them I was thankful for my son because that's what you're supposed to say, right? I had wanted him so badly, and here was this beautiful innocent baby who I did love.
But I still wasn't thankful. I knew that having a baby at that moment made the house and the illness that harder to deal with. We had to haul a baby seat with us to meet with contractors. I had to bundle him extra warmly because the seasons were changing and had to be extra careful about how much time we spent at the build site because it was too cold, and our home had no heat. I was exhausted from sleepless nights, and I knew that stress wasn't going to help regain function in my face.
Last year at Thanksgiving we had just lost my grandmother. It was hard, and this month is a bit bittersweet that way.
This year though, I can say that I am once again thankful, that the bitterness has subsided. I'm still angry some days, but I think that's ok. I'm thankful that I allow myself the space to be angry.
A friend of mine on Facebook is posting something she's thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. I'm going to join her, sharing with you the little things that make me thankful.
Today I am thankful for the people who are willing to put themselves in the public eye, to avail themselves for criticism, as candidates for elected office so that our democracy can continue to flourish. While I may have my own opinions about them and disagree (many times vehemently) with their politics, I still am thankful that they are willing to do a job many of us only ever talk about. And I'm thankful to live in a country that respects the citizens' right to pick their politicians.
What are you thankful for today?