Another Thanksgiving with the pandemic, however you define it, however you deal with it. I made a promise to myself that I would listen to all definitions and the ways that different people deal with it. But, of course, I can do it, because I am ‘grandmother’ Thanksgiving, having been the head of Thanks-Giving Square from 2002 through almost the end of 2010.
Why do I say that? Well to begin with, I give thanks for the gift of life and for you, whoever and wherever you are.
For a start, I am still here at 74. That is something considering that the average lifespan in this country was less than 50 just a hundred twenty years ago. I walk/run every day with a hundred-pound dog. That is certainly something not too many people of my age can say. I even do yoga, though now on my own. I miss the community sessions in the local recreation center and can only hope they can soon resume. However, that depends on the course of our pandemic.
And why do I give thanks for you? Well, you could be the person who helped load the milk into the truck that brought it to the store where I bought it to put into the coffee on the table beside me. You could be the one who led me through the procedure that ensured that the security program on this computer was put in right. You could be the one who years ago designed the comfortable sofa I am writing on now. You could be the one who controls the machines which made my running shoes. You could be someone who lives in my neighborhood or someone on the other side of this planet. I depend on all of you. Hasn’t the pandemic made that clear?
I live in a comfortable house where I am presently typing this article into the computer as a lie back against two pillows on the sofa I just mentioned. I don’t know if I will be here much longer as I have problems meeting my bills. I might do better if I move to another place. But why do I have financial challenges? That is simple: I pursued my dreams and have lived the most incredible life. However, that life left me with a small pension and one annuity. If it were not for the annuity, I would be in even worse shape. Besides, that annuity makes me contribute to the present-day students of a graduate school that made an enormous difference in my career.
My situation is a result of my choices.We all make our choices, some good, some bad, some indifferent.
However, we all also have things fall upon us. I lost the love of my life, one found only as I was reaching forty, just a decade later, even though we were exactly the same age. Had he not passed away, I would be living in Paris now. Yet, it is because he was gone and I was half lost that I applied for and became the president of Thanks-Giving. Yes, I moved to Dallas, a very different place for someone who was used to the international life, but this community has taught me so much. For one, it brought out the fact that in our present-day world, the local is the global and the global is the local.
They are doing things differently from what I did at Thanks-Giving Square now, but like the grandmother I am, I just enjoy what the grandchildren are doing. And incredibly, I have come to realize that I really do take pleasure in their messages and in their events. After all, I am deep into something else — putting out the novels I have written during my life, ones which would have ensured that I would have never gone on incredible United Nations missions or been the head of Thank-Giving if they had seen the light of day before they did.
So, as I watch the sun gently warm my half wild but organic back garden, one which attracts worms, butterflies, and bees, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, one where you can smile at your half-filled glass. After all, we all yearn for some things that we do not have but we can all also look at the things we have. And those of you who can read what I have written on your computers or your smartphones, you know that your glass is much bigger than that of so many others on this little planet we all share.