Thanksgiving is a very special holiday for me, now. I am truly grateful for what I've been given. On Thanksgiving Day, I remember where I came from, and how far I've come from there, and give thanks for all the ways I've been blessed in my adult life.
When I was a child, holidays and weekends were nothing to look forward to. They were extra causes for fear and trepidation, for the routine was broken and Dad was around all day.
We came from a dysfunctional household with a battering father and an enabling mother, in a strict, fundamentalist environment.
When I turned eighteen and went off to college, I felt such a tremendous burst of joy and elation, to be free from oppression and to be free from fear. The relief, the joy that flooded my soul then is with me still and a light on my forward path. I give thanks every day. Every single morning, I wake up and am giddy with delight because I realize there's nothing to be afraid of. My heart lifts in the jubilant celebration of the gift of another day here on earth and I'm free!
And now I spend the special Thanksgiving holiday with my dearly beloved sister Carole. My mother and aunt go to my cousin's house, for Carole and my mother are still estranged from each other, but I don't mind. I love my sister so much.
We have such fun! We laugh and talk, we chatter along and catch up with each other since the latest phone call we shared, a few days before. Carole makes a delicious meal for us. I can't cook--so we always go to her house. My sister CAN cook, and she loves doing it for us. We love this time to get together. We are both single ladies and childless, so it's the perfect opportunity.
We exchange a little gift on Thanksgiving. It started out as a hostess present. I brought Carole a little gift, because she was doing the cooking every year.
Well, the next year, she got me a little Thanksgiving present. She liked the idea. Nobody expected a present so the heat was off, and it really was a surprise. I blushed and laughed and hugged my new book (my sister knows me so well, she knows the way to my heart!) to my chest and we hugged each other. She tore the wrapping off the bath set I got her. She blushed and laughed and said, "Oh, you didn't have to..." and we hugged again.
We are just so grateful to be alive. We're grateful to be here, on this earth, and to have each other.
We're grateful together for so many things. Our little apartments each seem like the lap of luxury to us. We are safe and warm and free from fear. We have each other. We have books and clothes and music. We have bath stuff; we can take a long, deep, relaxing bath with the candles lit and the music going anytime we want, because we have WATER!
We have so much that we wonder sometimes if we earned it all, or if we deserve it. We both worked hard all our lives, and we're grateful for those opportunities that are so well-rewarded and have provided us with these safe, clean environments and all the little extras.
We have the basics covered, and all the extras that matter. We have delicious food to eat and plenty of it. We are in good health and are free from fear. We are happy in our lives and occupations, but the most important thing, the one we truly, deep in our hearts will never be thankful enough for and can't get over, is...
We have each other.
Against all the odds, we still have each other.
What more could anybody want?
Every day is Thanksgiving day for us. Every single day, for both of us. Every day is a special day of Thanksgiving.
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Bob Dylan's "Forever Young"
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