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Thanksgiving Special

Updated on October 24, 2011

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.

Bob Dylan's "Forever Young"


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    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      This hub puts it all in perspective. Thanks.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Your very welcome. I think if people take a step back and realize how much they already have to be thankful for, they'll spend the holiday in a very good frame of mind. Thank you for your kind and supportive comment.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 8 years ago from Texas

      Wow Paradise7, what a sobering story! Sorry that you had to experience such negative things in your childhood. But, thanks for sharing for you have truly giving many people a reason to be thankful on Thanksgiving.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, RM, for faithfully following along, and for all your supportive comments.

    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Paradise7, thanks again for sharing. Your life story is so riveting. Some might say that it’s somewhat perverse to enjoy reading the story of a derailed family. But part of the intrigue is that you’ve peppered us with stories along the way of hope, acceptance, and a life lived well. How can we stop reading before you bring the two together in the middle? Never doubt that you are doing something that is appreciated by many.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Catherine R and Laura. We will enjoy it so much more, carrying all these good wishes in our hearts. Tell you what, if you'd like to have Thanksgiving even though your country doesn't recognize that holiday, I won't tell on you! Make a special meal and say a special prayer and gather some family around you, and you're all set! The Thanksgiving po-lice won't come banging on your door, or, if they do, just give them food!

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 8 years ago from South Africa

      You deserve every minute of happiness that comes your way. Nobody deserves to have gone through what you and Carole went through. Happiness is what we take out of life, how we experience and appreciate the little things. It's not money - it's our positive thinking and happy, loving frame of mind that brings us joy.

      You deserve it because you earned it!!

      I wish I could meet you - you sound such a warm giving person. Pity I'm a million miles away.

      Keep well and enjoy thanksgiving. (We do not celebrate thanksgiving in our country)We sure miss out a lot! :)

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      What a lovely uplifting and joyful hub! And what a fantastic tribute to your sister too. I wish you both a splendid Thanksgiving.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much, emievil and Veronica, for the lovely comments. Oh, yes, I'm looking forward to our Thanksgiving and hope yours is the best and most blessed Thanksgiving of all this year!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Absolutely heart-warming. It's great that you all recognize that there is so much to be grateful from each and every day. I think we all can take a page from your "book of life" and truly show ourselves grateful for all we have, no matter what ups or downs life throws at us! Thank you so much for this moving story. I always look forward to what you share with us.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      Advance Happy Thanksgiving Day paradise! I can read your happiness in this hub. I hope your thanksgiving this year will be as wonderful (or more wonderful) than the previous year's thanksgiving. I know you're looking forward to it =).

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, dohn. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from both of us.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      It's wonderful to hear that you take so much joy in appreciating what others would otherwise call "the little things" in life, Paradise7. There is certainly a strong bond between you and your sister and the love you share with one another is palpable. Thank you so much for sharing this.