As each year passes, living with chronic pain and disease, I find myself grateful to still be alive to be grateful, to be grateful to still be alive, well, you get the picture. The older I grow the more grateful I become.
I’m thankful for modern medical care which saves us from the old fears of scurvy, consumption and the ingestion of laudanum; however, we still have a long way to go.
I’m grateful for each change in medical research and science I have been privy to see each year for many and varied diseases, always remembering the families impacted by these horrendous diseases.
I’m thankful for many medications, like the dreaded prednisone, biologics, chemo drugs, NSAID’s and anti-malarials, in spite of their numerous side effects.
I’m thankful there isn’t as much fat in my ass as there is in my chin or chins…I think.
In spite of living with daily pain, I look back in awe and wonder why I still have as many “marbles rattling around in my jar” sitting on my shoulders as I do.
I’m thankful for the insight which I have gained from all my suffering, without which I would be a shallow, narcissistic, self-indulgent, spoiled healthy person who felt great every day. Huh? Guess I would have to think about that one if given the choice.
I’m thankful for the rain that falls almost daily here in the Northwest without which we would not have all this greenery that surrounds us like green bricks, green sidewalks and green pet paws.
I’m thankful I still have enough joy in my heart to daily understand there is still much to be joyful about.
I’m grateful for the God-given insight to look through the rain clouds toward the sunshine; to see the promise of buds on a huge camellia bush in the midst of winters chill and the faith to plant bulbs for next spring.
I’m grateful I still feel enough hope to buy green bananas.
I’m appreciative of the faith I have in the physician who is a prince/princess, in spite of all the frogs I’ve “kissed” along the way in my medical history.
I’m in awe of the many fantastic individuals I have met who travel along and survive the same road I travel, riddled with pot-holes, dangerous winding curves and faux dead ends.
I’m thankful each curve in the road is not a dead end but a change of direction with new hopes and possibilities.
I’m thankful for the immense Hand of God that is always there to lift me out of the gutter of my own depression.
I’m grateful for the lesson of living for today and only today as exemplified by innocent children, pure souls and all furry creatures with wet noses.
I’m thankful for the child who still lives within me to help me enjoy building blocks, play dough, crayons, water coloring on construction paper and a stick of glue with all of their inherent possibilities, limited only by imagination. I’m thankful for a Christmas full of red fake noses and fart putty for everyone.
I’m grateful for the laughter of a child when his/her mouth is spewed with a spray can of whipping crème. I’m also grateful for squirt guns, silly knock-knock jokes and all toys that walk, dance, chime, zoom, giggle, burp, “toot” beep or sing.
I’m grateful for the ability to climb a flight of stairs irrespective of the pain. It’s getting to the top that counts, as well as arriving at the bottom while still standing. The pain becomes unimportant if I can still function. Independent function is of prime importance.
I’m thankful for comfortable shoes, warm socks and a heating pad on a chilly day and night; as well as long silk underwear, soft sweaters and hooded jackets.
I’m thankful for a spouse who sees me with eyes of memory, love and acceptance; smattered with that always needed forgiveness.
I’m thankful we don’t live in an era when we have to pick bird shot out of the Thanksgiving turkey. This also includes plucking out feathers and dealing with decapitation of the bird. I like to think our Butterball was born in that white plastic bag.
I’m thankful we can afford mail order food for the holidays when needed.
I’m thankful for the delicious crackling edge on a piece of turkey, a moist serving of cornbread stuffing and the sweet memories that accompany every piece of pumpkin pie rich in spices and heavy with whipped cream.
I’m thankful for the constants in life like the love of a child, the changing of the seasons, the wag of a tail after any absence and relief after a painful episode.
I’m grateful it always feels so good when the pain subsides and the many modern miracles which make it possible to live this altered life.
I’m always grateful I was born with a cussedly independent stubborn spirit. I’d have been dead long ago without it.
I’m ever thankful for the grace to live with dignity in often horrible physical conditions. I thank God for the ability to always believe in the sun coming up tomorrow.
I’m often grateful there are only 24 hours in each day.
I’m humbly grateful nothing has fallen off of me…yet. That doesn’t take into consideration those parts which have been surgically removed. I still miss my breast but, oh well, I never miss my tonsils or appendix.
I’m thankful and appreciative for the smells of the season; candle wax, scented or not, a roasting turkey, sage and onions in Mom’s cornbread stuffing and that unique fragrance of crisp, clean Fall air.
I’m thankful for the inspiration of survival exemplified by our old house that has withstood 126 winters of fierce, buffeting gales and pouring rain.
I’m thankful for my constant and deep assurance of life after the many miracles of life and death I witnessed as a registered nurse.
I’m ever aware and thankful for a loving family. I’m thankful for so many wonderful friends, old and new who share their life stories with me.
I have much to be thankful for this year and pray that you do, too. Please enjoy preparing for the season ahead of us. Eat what agrees with you, spend time with those you love to be with and don’t forget to look around you and be thankful.