I love autumn. Flaming fall leaves, pumpkin pie, jack-o-lanterns. As blue skies and sunny days give way to chilly nights, we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. Like our American friends to the south, the holiday is mostly about stuffing ourselves with turkey and potatoes, minus the Pilgrims at Plymouth bit.
This year, Gavin, Craig and I celebrated Thanksgiving with our family at the cottage. Bubby and Da were there, plus the Vancouver contingent. It was a weekend of spectacular sun and record-breaking warm weather. We hiked through Hardy Lake, canoed, picnicked, and jetted around in the boat for the last ride of the season. And stuffed ourselves with turkey and trimmings. Bean busied himself playing with everyone and carving pumpkin tea-light holders with Bubby.
Flashback to one year ago. We spent our Thanksgiving weekend preparing to enter Gavin’s first round of high-dose, and checked into hospital on the Sunday night, full of fear but also thanks for how far we had made it. Then, as now, Bean proved all the doomsday predictions wrong by sailing through his first confinement in isolation with spirits high. Then, I was thankful for each day and did not look beyond each 24-hour period.
And now, still, I try to keep the meaning of Thanksgiving in my heart and mind every day. I say a prayer of gratitude for all the gifts I have, for the Earth that sustains us and gives us life, for my son and husband. I am so thankful to be a young, healthy woman. For family and friends. I am filled with gratitude to have been born in a country that gives me the freedom and power to vote, work, own property, drive, and wear a short skirt should I bloody well choose to. I am eternally, eternally grateful for universal healthcare. So thankful that never in the midst of our pain and suffering, did we ever have to think, how the eff are we going to pay for this? (A reminder to Canadian taxpayers, yes, we get walloped, but think about your contribution more in terms of saving children’s lives. Feel better?) I am thankful for what wealth we have, although in our culture, it is hard sometimes to feel that you have “enough.” I am even thankful for my mutant genes, for making me who I am, and for making Gavin who he is too.
I also want to thank all of you. The people who read this and continue to pray for us and hope with us. The friends, known and unknown, who have made the difference to us in this journey. In recognition of those who have helped us along the way, I’m starting a “We Thank You” page on the blog and will be adding people’s names as I think of them. I also want you to know that Gav’s MRI is tomorrow morning. He goes into the machine at 8:00. Join me in visualizing a clear and clean scan. I hope to add another thing to be thankful for to my list tomorrow evening.
What do you give thanks for every day?