Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

In which I offer exhortations and platitudes befitting the scope and spirit of the holiday. Or something.

So I'm thankful. Inordinately and infinitely thankful. Obviously, for being alive.

For my first Thanksgiving post-transplant as a seemingly-normal member of society.

For my family who got me here.

For my donor who made "here" possible; who turned a daily nightmare into a bunch of dreams-come-true.

For my indescribably amazing BBDD and Bambina, without whom this new life would not be worth living. And to whom any additional words simply would not do justice.

For my Mom, who knows me better than I'd prefer, and who has always loved me regardless. Who brought me into the world and who pretty much continues to help me through it, thereby proving that a mother's work is never done.

For my Dad, who I miss randomly and excruciatingly on a sometimes-weekly basis, when I smell his old pipe tobacco, or see a man walking with what was his characteristic shuffle. Or, sometimes just when I walk into a hardware store and breathe in that alchemic elixir of lumber, WD-40 and paint thinner that characterized the Do-It-Yourself handyman nature of the Haggis household throughout my childhood. Sometimes the acuteness of missing him hits me so hard I can't believe it's been almost 3 years since he died, like maybe it shouldn't feel like a punch in the face anymore after all this time. But maybe it's more accurate to say that it will always feel like a punch in the face, only nowadays I don't so much mind being punched. I like that he's there, waiting to find me when I least expect it. I like that Bambina likes to eat "Bumpa Toast" (the Scottish version of grilled cheese), even when it prompts her to ask me to tell her stories about him and I ache that he can't tell her himself. I'm so sad he's gone, but I'm thankful and lucky and blessed that I had him for the time we had. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to say that. Thank God I am.

For my friends. My dear, dear friends who care about me sometimes more than I deserve, and who love me even though I routinely fail to reciprocate all of their wonderful acts of daily friendship.

For lovely blog readers whose comments and emails make me laugh, fume and feel lucky to be a part of the conversation. I would have lost my mind in 2007 without this blog--and without the three of you reading it. I'm lucky to have you. For real.

For the blessing of attitude adjustments. While I'd gladly go back, start out with some healthy bone marrow, and skip this whole transplant thing, I can't deny that it has been a gift in many ways. If I hadn't gotten sick, I'd have been working full time and I'd have missed this time being a stay-at-home mama to Bambina. Oh, she'd have been fine and I'd have been fine. But this time with her has been a flat-out gift, end of story. To be sure, we'd certainly be more financially comfortable with me working. But sometimes there is also a blessing in not being able to buy everything you want, to having to differentiate between a want and a need, and sometimes even getting comfortable with the fact that some needs will just have to wait (I'm talking to you, condemned deck at the back of my house). If I hadn't gotten sick, I'd never have found out who my real friends are. Or at least, I'd never have been able to be honest with myself about the fact that some people are just inherently Takers, and that even their "concern" for you is still and always about them, as you now realize your entire "friendship" was as well. I'm several hundred pounds lighter after this transplant, and that's a good thing, for me and for them. Call it human feng shui: releasing the energy that's holding you back so you are open to receiving the new and more positive kind.

For the blessing of living in a democracy. As bad as the campaign got (and y'all; it got BAD), we are witnessing another peaceful transfer of power in these United States of America. It's something we all take for granted, but when you consider the truly amazing feat in human civilization such an event represents, we ought to be more mindful of its wonder. When you really think about it, the only reason it works is because we all as Americans agree to agree that this is how it will go. If the military decided it wasn't going to happen at the same time whatever faction decided it wasn't going to happen at the same time when people no longer agreed that the Constitution was THE defining document of our nation rather than just a piece of paper--well, it would all just crumble. It happens all the time in other nations. We are lucky to live here, no matter how broke-ass it all may seem sometimes. Or, to put it more eloquently (with hat tip to JackandJillPolitics for the quote): American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it. - James Baldwin

Come to think of it, maybe that describes all of us. Which, if you really think about it, is something for which to be thankful.

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