It's Thanksgiving week. I have a turkey thawing in the fridge--33 cents a pound; thank you, Kroger!--and...well, I guess that's it. There won't be company or three times as much food as we need or four different kinds of pie. Thanksgiving is synonymous with family, and we are staying socially distanced, so it's going to be Duane and me and the three cats.
The cats live outside and, while they are experts at telling time, they are no good at board games and telling and laughing at inappropriate jokes or saying "...do you remember..." and opening up a whole new conversation with everyone talking at once. They don't talk politics or religion, although two of them have been known to go to the church across the road when I do. They don't drink beer and pick on each other and each other's kids the way my boys do or go shopping on Black Friday the way my girls do, giving me a batch of memories every year. The recollections aren't of drinking beer (I don't) or buying things, but of spending the day with my favorite people in all the world. Of Duane asleep on the couch. Of playing Cards Against Humanity and trying to act blasé instead of shocked. Of...
Wait, they're cats, remember? So, yeah, different.
It's 2020--of course, it's different. So I asked people about who they were thankful to in this year of learning. Of changing. Of hoping for better things to come. I'm adding their answers to my own list of gratitudes.
Bethani Jackson Agh, 2020...I’m just so very grateful we have (almost!) made it! My kids are healthy, my parents are healthy and even though the circumstances haven’t been ideal, I have LOVED having my boys home with me all the time. Never again in life will this happen and I have not taken it for granted.
Linda Leasure I want to thank Larry Cunningham for all the “little” things he does for me, including transporting my recycling “stuff”! 😃
Joe DeRozier I thank you, Liz Flaherty.
Not only for all of your help and hard work the last few months, but also for being optimistic, caring, and always smiling. I look forward to our visits and enjoy talking politics with you. You are what we all strive to be like.
Thank you for being the wonderful person you are and for your great writings.
I'm really glad we met!
Mary Harding I'm thankful for my husband.
He's my soul mate, he keeps me focused. He helps in so many ways. He cooks, he takes care of me when I'm ill, fills up my car, and loves me dearly.
Rhonda Bonham I am thankful that I was able to retire at the beginning of the year and help out with my mom and granddaughter this year. Thankful that my mom was able to stay for six months out of the year and that I am able to be home to watch my granddaughter and help her with virtual preschool.
Donna Clark Schmidt Thank you to my mom in Heaven, Dora Clark. You were a great mom and an awesome grandma. All I know of holidays and being a mom and grandma you taught me. Thank you.
Kathleen Thompson I am thankful to the millions of front line workers - the doctors, nurses, police, fire fighters, ambulance crews, grocery and drug store employees, food chain employees, the little people who are never seen - who put their lives on the line for us every single day. Nursing home and daycare workers--people who work for very little pay, but give so much love and care to our most vulnerable citizens. CNAs and cooks, janitors, teachers...
Debby Myers I have an 85-year-old lovely little lady in my family that I am most thankful for this year. Having her with us has taught me a valuable lesson. Having spent nearly my entire life trying to put others needs before mine, this lady has lived her life in similar fashion. This year she developed clear signs of dementia. It first started with memories from long ago that had been buried in her mind. She then seemed to dart ahead to her impending death. Then it changed to little memory of anything at all. She was thankful to have someone with her to hold her hand. I am thankful we could do that for her. So many sadly left us this year with no one with them to hold their hand. The happiest part of this little story is that God did take their hand. That little lady remembers that, even when she forgets my name, so for that I am thankful this Thanksgiving.
Larry L. Cunningham I am thankful for a new day to enjoy nature with all its beauty!
Nan Reinhardt Thankful for my friends who are staying in touch--Gchat with you, Skypes with Maureen, Zooms with my fellow Tule authors, texts and emails from so many others. The loneliness of pandemic life is made so much nicer when I hear from the people I care about. 💗💗
Judy Ann Lashinski Davis I'm thankful for the military. I have a recently deployed son who has left his wife and six-month-old son to celebrate the holidays without him this year while he serves our country.
Shirley Greenwald I thank Heather Stegelin for all the help and support during these difficult last three years.
Marilyn Hughes Bishop I’m thankful that I have God in my life also my family and friends. 💖
Denise DeWitt Moeller I am thankful for all the friends I’ve had throughout my life. Especially the ones that I don’t see anymore in this season of my life. They’ve all left an imprint on my heart and I have good memories of time spent together.
Thelma Bodnar I am thankful for my family, my friends and all those who push me to be a better version of myself. ❤️
Nancy Masten I'm grateful for friends who listen, support, and transport.
Laura Stroud I am very thankful for all of my friends and family that have helped me throughout my cancer journey. I am so humbled by their many thoughts and prayers. You go through life meeting new people, making new friends. You never realize then that those people could become some of the most important people in your life. Not being able to work for most of the year has taken a toll on me and my mother, but because of these friends, that are more like family, we have survived with their help. I can never repay these people, but will be forever grateful. Your friends become your family in times like these. Cherish them. Tell them everyday how much you love them. Time is precious and not guaranteed. Make the most of the time you've been given. For these people, I will keep on fighting. For these people, I will survive.
Thanks to everyone who helped with this. I'll post again Thursday with other messages from friends. Have a great week. Be nice to somebody.