The Phoenix Zine

Giving Thanks


It’s Thanksgiving weekend, in Canada at least, and as my family traditions dictate, I spent Sunday at my Gram and Gramp’s house eating turkey and visiting with family members I only see twice a year.

Normally I’m a big fan of Thanksgiving. I love the food, the long weekend, getting together with my cousins and aunts and uncles, and especially taking time to realise I have a lot to be thankful for. This year, however, when it comes to being thankful, I’m having some problems.

Life is all about dealing simultaneously with the good and the bad. For me, facing the uncertainty of my illness makes me appreciate and consider the predictable parts of my life to be good. The more I deal with the bad, the more I want to hang on to what is good.

Except trying to hang on to the good things in my life, expecting them to always stay the same is like trying to hold on to a fistful of dry sand. The tighter your grip, the more the sand spills from your hand.

Celebrating thanksgiving this year with my extended family reminded me of how life continues to change. My cousins are all grown up now and moving to new places to start their lives, my uncle is dealing with serious health problems and no one in my family is getting any younger. Seeing things change around me and realising life is as uncertain as my illness frightens me.

So while I continue in my struggle to let go of what I cannot control, this year instead of just being thankful for the traditional stuff, such as food, shelter and family, I’m thankful for the now. Worrying about change and the future is inevitable, but enjoying the moment, being around to cherish times spent with family members and friends is what I am most thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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