In these quiet moments, before the sun rises, before what will be a busy and joyful day begins, before the 'official' giving of thanks commences, my heart is swelling. Though there have been many occasions this year to give thanks, to check in and take stock and be really, really thankful, to feel deep gratitude, having one day set aside, one day of communal giving of thanks, where we take a moment to say aloud (or on the internet;) ) our thanks to one another, is pretty overwhelmingly special. This year, of course, feels especially so.
As this day dawns, with my husband sleeping just beside me, my brother and sister slumbering in the other room, Mom and Dad safely resting at a hotel on a few miles away, my heart swells with thanks for them. For family that is together, all of us, for this holiday. We may be far from our house, but home is right here today. My heart, and of course Phil's heart, reach home to Philly for his dear family, wishing we could be with them too. Knowing that they are gathering with love at his Nana's this evening and are all safe and happy (some with new bundles of joy!) is reason to give abundant thanks, though our hearts ache with anticipation to see them soon.
There are so many thanks to give this year. So many blessings have been granted, blessings in all sizes, some quite obvious, others very subtle, all humbling, I want to open my chest and let my heart shout to, everyone, to the universe "THANK YOU!". For the love and support that has surrounded and lifted up Phil and I and our families, we are all thankful. A man I greatly respect said to me, just before leaving school for the summer in June, simply "You are surrounded". Such powerful words. Yes, we have been and my god, we never knew there was such love and kindness in the world.
Today calls me again to remember and give deep thanks for the reason I am here writing this blog, my blessed donor. Last night, as I was moving through my bedtime ritual of tape and saran wrap and lotions and ointments and pills and pin pricks and needles, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the presence of him, felt his life coursing in my veins and pulsing in my bones, and was stopped in my tracks. This day might have been quite different for all of us had it not been for this man. It is my deepest hope that he too is surrounded by his family today, that he is told that he is someone to be thankful for, that he feels comfort and love and joy. That he can maybe even feel the thanks radiating to him from another family. To say that I am thankful for my health is an understatement. Rising this morning, a little less bald, a little stronger, a lot puffy BUT with the ability to say (and this is in writing on my lab reports!) that I am in remission, draws a kind of thankfulness that cannot be adequately described in words. Thank you donor, for this gift, for this Thanksgiving, for this life.
Though I have said the words 'thank you' on this blog many, many times to our friends, today I hope that these words have special weight. Phil and I are so deeply thankful for your friendship, for your generosity, for listening and visiting and for teaching us. For the laughter and the hugs and the tears and the reminders of home. For years of friendship. As I mentioned earlier, this year has been a time of pausing and taking stock of what is important. Let me just tell you, stepping back and picturing your faces and seeing how special each of you are, what good, good hearted people we are blessed to call friends, is more overwhelming than can be imagined.
It is my, no, I'll say our (going to include Phil in this one, though he's still unconscious;) ), sincerest hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. May it be filled with as much joy as you have given, with as much hope as you have inspired, as much love as you radiate. That your table be abundant and satisfying and that your hearts be filled to the brim. That you are surrounded by the faces of those who love you and that you feel their love. That you know that you have made a huge difference in the lives of those that you touch, especially this family down in Houston. That this life, on this earth, is so goddamn amazing.
Happy Thanksgiving and MUCH LOVE!!!
p.s. there are only 10 bottles of Gewürztraminer on the wall... or table, it goes quite well with turkey...:)