It was a lonely day. My family was away. My Thanksgiving dinner was purchased at the drive-thru at Jack in the Box. Just me and the dog, hanging out with Netflix. I watched what I wanted to. The dog complained there were no dogs in the shows. There was a monkey. But that didn’t impress the dog.
I have had time to write. And I have made progress. I reached 35,000 words on my work-in-progress. I watched a really good movie in the theater in Lewisville.
But what am I truly thankful for?
My wife and I are headed towards separation. I am bankrupt and must pay off my bankruptcy in the next two and a half years. I am in terrible health. I am forced to earn extra money in order to keep making all the payments I must make. Working is hard because my diabetes and arthritis both interfere. No one reads my books beyond a few random discoverers of the power of the stories I tell. And it all will probably end sooner rather than later. I may be developing cancer again. Diabetes may be wrecking my heart, or possibly setting me up for a stroke. It will all be over soon… probably.
But my hardships are what I am thankful for.
Pain reminds me that I am still alive, and dealing with pain makes me stronger to live a little longer.
Sadness reminds me that there are people and endeavors that I truly love and care deeply about. My sadness is proof that I have really known love.
Being poor and nearly destitute reminds me to take stock of all I do have, and to make the wisest possible use of all that is left to me.
I am not homeless.
I have a wife and kids. My parents are both still alive. My brother and my two sisters are still thriving. The dog still loves me. Some of my people do too.
I am free to think and feel and be… no matter what the thoughts and feelings and facts of my being are.
It is true that some people are luckier than I, have more than I do. But more people are given a lot less in life. And what I am truly thankful for is the greatest gift I have been given. I have the honor of being me, and I actually know what that means, who that person is. That is a rare and priceless gift.