Thanksgiving Eve, 2015

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Dear Friends,

These past few weeks have been some of the most difficult ones for me in a long time. Faced with almost being unable to walk at night without my leg braces, I have been contemplating going into assisted living.

This is a picture of my beloved Frank. He is the love of my life, my best friend, my teammate in life. He and I talked and talked about my situation, and have come up with a few solutions. I thought that this would be my last holidays at home. I thought I would have to leave my love. I can’t predict the future of my disability, but it is progressive.

I know that I must live in the moment, in the present. As much as I fear the future, I have the love and support of Frank and my sons and daughter-in-laws, my two sisters and my brother. When I live in the past I am unhappy. When I project to the future, I am unhappy. But when I live in the present, I feel the bountiful love and beauty that is my life.

I live in a gorgeous apartment out of which I can see the sunshine on the sheer granite cliff across the way dotted by huge oak trees. I have seen deer, owls, and hawks. A fox walking across the lawn in front of our patio door bode a good omen the night before our wedding last year. And the hummingbirds courted me all Summer long.

This is a special Thanksgiving for me. I can no longer cook a meal, but a neighborhood restaurant is providing us with a turkey dinner, delivered by volunteers. We are having two of my sons, and a daughter-in-law for dessert after they have their meal at their father’s. It will be a loving and fun time, full of smiles and laughter. And I will cherish each moment, knowing that one day in the future I will be in an institution.

I’m writing to encourage each and every one of you, whether you are alone on this holiday or surrounded by friends and loved ones, to cherish the moment. Live in the now that is your life, a gift to you only. It is a gift to do with as you please, to make choices, to rejoice in, to grow. Join with me in my joy of the love and the beauty that is this universe and natural world we live in.

There was a meme running around Facebook recently. It said something like, “We live on a blue planet revolving around a ball of fire in an endless universe, and you don’t believe in miracles?”

I’m not religious, but I am very spiritual. I do believe in miracles because I am one. I’ll write more about why this is another time. Just let it suffice to know that we are all miracles, and the answer to our prayers lie within.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, 2015, I am home. I am loved. I feel the gratitude deep within my heart for all of the blessings in my life. None of us can predict the future, but we all have the present moment to live.

And I am still walking.

With that, I’ll say,

Love,

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

Prose – My Own Private Thanksgiving Parade

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything personal here. I think in my last personal post I talked about my fiancĂ© going through a serious health challenge. As the only thing certain in life is change, so too, have we gone through changes.

First off, Frank’s treatments for aplastic anemia are working and he only needs to visit his doctors at Dana-Farber in Boston once a month. Eventually he will wean off his medication, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving this is a near miracle we are both blessed and grateful for. His humor has endured throughout, and his spirit and tenacity are to be marveled at. He has never complained. Not once.

During the height of the danger of his illness and treatments, we moved in together to an apartment in a neighboring town. Neither of us could move ourselves, though I did pack myself, and we had another blessing of family and friends who combined the muscle and finance and emotional support to make our move possible. I’m giving thanks to all of them, and for the good fortune of finding a place which is like a palace to us.

The environment of the complex we used to live in was dirty and unkempt. I cherish some of the friends I made there, however we had a dream of living together and after six months of research I found our home.

The people here are happy and happy for a reason. It’s gorgeous, it’s wooded, it’s clean, and it’s beyond our greatest dreams. It has aided in restoring both of us in our health, both emotional and physical. Unlike so many at this holiday season, we feel safe and live in a protected place which makes us feel proud. Living in this way gives a person a certain wealth of self-esteem mixed with humility. We are lucky in so many, many ways I only wish for everyone else in our restricted financial position.

Happiness cannot be bought or sold or acquired through nice places to live or hefty incomes. I believe it comes through directing one’s life toward choices which add a probability of happiness, in spite of the challenges within each life. In order to do this we need a clear vision of our goals and the ability to calculate the moves toward attaining those goals one small step at a time.

For hungry and oppressed people, this clarity is usually mired by the strength it takes to survive.

This Thanksgiving I want to thank all those who made it possible for Frank and I to attain our happiness in our two lives shared now as one. You are most cherished and counted among the most broad terms of our support system.

For the hungry and alone, I am thinking of you at all times. This holiday is one of gratitude for me for the health and wealth which surrounds me and I honor you in your personhood and dignity of purpose.

Much Love,

Gail