What will you be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day?

Ruth Griffiths

Will you be thankful for family gathered around your table, loaded with the produce grown in your garden? This used to be the top of my Thanksgiving list, but it will not be this year because for the first time since 1971, I have not grown a garden. Because I have sold my house, my family will not be gathering around my table as they have since 1975. Instead, we will be meeting together for a meal at a restaurant that will no doubt serve us a wonderful repast.

I will be even more thankful for the presence of family this year, because my situation has changed so radically. And perhaps I will have more empathy for those who have encountered disruption and upheavals in their life this year.

I’m thinking now about the families who have left Ukraine to avoid the dangers of war and have found shelter in our city. I am sure they miss family, friends, and homeland every day.

I am thinking about the people who had to leave their homes this summer because of wildfire. Many are still unable to return home. How will they celebrate Thanksgiving?

I’m thinking about the people who sleep in doorways because there is no shelter for them. For what do they have to be thankful?

When my sister’s car was T-boned, it looked like the car was a writeoff. I suggested that this was a life-changing moment for her. She thought about it for a while and then texted me: Every morning when I wake up is life-changing.

It’s easy to lose track of the most important things in life … the things I should be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Family is at the top of my list obviously, but I’m also thankful for my body that moves me, helps me, heels me and takes me places I want to go.

My mind is a big part of my happiness and my life. It holds my thoughts, opinions, memories and emotions. To exercise my mind I will fill it with nourishing thoughts.

Friendships are one of the greatest gifts of life. Friends fill a part of your heart that no one else can. This Thanksgiving I am especially thankful for a friend who has given me a  roof over my head, often cooked my meals, and allows me freedom to enjoy her garden. At this transitional stage in my life, continuing the activities that I enjoy has been especially healing. For this I am truly thankful.