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For a Day of Peace, Reflection, and Above All Gratitude: “Thanksgiving 2016”

I feel like crap. I have for days. I have a minor migraine but more so I feel like passing out. I have no appetite, which is partially contributing to that passing out feeling. I don’t feel like I am in my body or more poignantly in my head. That is an extra crappy feeling while I try to function in the real world all day. To boot I am also suffering from a little known migraine system- congested sinuses. As the pain in my head starts to ease my noise begins pouring out for hours on end. Until it clears I feel like I have a terrible cold and additional cloudiness in my already troubled head.

I have accepted I will feel like this as I drag myself around all day long until I can finally collapse in my bed tonight. I would like to assure you I will feel different in the morning but there are no promises in the world of chronic migraine disease. Don’t worry I won’t. I know from experience that it will eventually go away it is just all this dang time in the meantime that I’m wallowing in.

The point I seek to make here is that despite this frustrating and sickening feeling, I am happy. I am grateful. I know this condition will not last and it is certainly not the hardest experience I’ve had living with my illness. It is not even the worst it has made me feel this year and for that I am more grateful than I can express.

All it takes is a glimpse of my 2016 Walgreens albums online to remind myself I am more lucky than even I remember on a daily basis.

Off the top of my head, cloudy and all, I am most grateful not for my health but for that of my immediate family, my parents and my brother. That I will get to spend the holidays amongst them is a great blessing.

The fact that we have a home to share, while during trying times may not seem like it, is most definitely a blessing. No matter what may come we always have food to full our bellies. We have memories to make us laugh, to show how far we have come, and dreams for our futures together.

As I mentioned before I have been in relative good health. That has made 2016 an exceptional year for me and I don’t just mean for big reasons though there are those too. But I will start with the small. I can now sit down on the floor and play with my niece and nephews and am able to get up without a problem. I can get up and off the bus I take for my daily commute with a hop, skip, and a jump. It is embarrassing but true to say that I haven’t been able to do that without fear for some years. 

In moderate progress I now have the ability to feel cold. I no longer have the malaria sweats but rather a light coat of glistening sweat when I irrationally feel heat that no one else does. I am able to take hot showers.

In bigger news I have left the country on my own dream solo trip and it was perfection. It was the kind of dream I’ve had for so many years while I lay crippled with pain in bed as I cried myself to sleep, that I never really thought would be possible.

Lastly but not unrelated I am off most of the poisonous drugs that caused all of those side effects, which is a really nice way of putting it, allowing myself to be myself again. On a good day I feel more alive simply because I am naturally high on life no matter what kind of a day I am having. 

In other magnificent news I was able to meet and play with my little peanut who is every bit as precious as I knew he would be. I was there when his parents and family found out he would be getting a little brother in the spring. A thrill like no other!

These are my own personal achievements but also the things I count as my blessings. They are the moments I am grateful for because they are the moments I prayed for and despite the days that I feel crappy I know I am one of the lucky ones. I know this today and I will know this tomorrow just as I knew it yesterday. It has almost nothing to do with Thanksgiving except that it is just as good as excuse as any to remind myself and others that what we give thanks for doesn’t have to be big or small, it just has to be true. For me, these are my truths this year.

With the turmoil of the recent presidential election many families are having trouble putting the issues behind them in order to celebrate together. I understand of course because the issues this year are more important than ever. They concern our basic human rights and I for one cannot put that aside no matter how grateful I am.

An article on Huffington Post had this very smart approach to the holiday:

“So how do we generate a sense of gratitude when legitimate concerns over the future, well-being or safety persist? The trick… is to catch yourself in a negative thought and redirect it.”

How is this for redirection? If you cannot think of anyone or anything you have to be grateful for, simply be thankful that you are not a turkey.

President Obama said it best:

“Tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an American. It’s a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company. But it’s also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. They don’t have it so good.”

This year’s turkeys are Tater and Tot I kid you not. Previous winners had names like Honest and Abe or Mac and Cheese. But I think Caramel or Popcorn might be my favorite. I think the online voting to see which turkey is granted the pardon was a bit much. Thankfully the Obama girls put an end to this in 2009 when they asked their father to pardon both turkeys, ridiculous names or not.

The very first turkey was pardoned in 1947 by President Harry Truman, the thirty-third President of the United States. However, the first President to do so on record (proved with photos and a news report) was President Ronald Reagan in 1987 who sent the turkey to live out his years in a zoo. That bird’s name was Charlie, how boring.

The first George Bush, that is George H.W. Bush, made pardoning a turkey part of the annual celebration of Thanksgiving at the White House. 

If you are super interested in this topic the Wikipedia link below has the full history of the infamous turkeys and their pardoners.

I hear for a period of time after 2005 pardoned turkeys were sent to Walt Disney World. See now I feel like complaining that turkeys are having a better day than me but I know better, so I am trying to do better as per Maya Angelou.

So there is a little extra pre Find Out Friday information for you.

In conclusion I want to be sure to give thanks for this blog, which I believe, saved my soul. Thank you to the superpower that brings the words forth through my fingers even when my brain is on autopilot. It has taught me that my purpose in life is writing and I hope my passion for it shows.

A very special thank you to my readers, for without you there is no me.

For More Information:

For My Past Thanksgiving Reflections:


  1. I am thankful you are feeling better (which has been a long road) and hopeful you will continue to be pain free one day. xoxo


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