Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Anyway

For many years Louie Crew published a webpage called "Joy Anyway!" -- a site with "reflections of Anglican pilgrims" and a reminder to continue to find joy in the struggle "anyway."

Thought of that as I sat down on this Thanksgiving morning -- with the apple pie baked, the pecan pie in the oven and the sweet potatoes ready to mashed into the casserole recipe that Louise always made. It is not "Thanksgiving as usual" here by any means ... but I am "thankful anyway."

Thankful for memories
of Thanksgivings past
that stretch back to years
when it was just Billl and Betty and Susie and Billy --
the California contingent of a far flung family --
around the dining table in Eagle Rock
with a centerpiece of pinecone turkeys
with construction paper tails
and the brown-and-serve rolls
Betty only made once a year
and always burned the bottom
browning in the oven.

Thankful for the Ventura years
when children were little
and Grandma and Grandpa
and cousins from north and south
came over the freeways and through the sigalerts
to fill up the house
with food and football
and stories and family.

Thankful now for the years
when we worked hard to reconfigure a family
on the other side of a marriage
and came together
parents and partners
and children and friends
in spite of the challenge of change
for food and football and stories
and famliy that turned out
to be stronger
than our fears and failures.

Thankful -- oh so very thankful --
for nine years of building a life
with my friend and partner and wife
who loved Thanksgiving
and always made the turkey
in the roasting pan inherited from her mother Pat
full of Grandma Mason's stuffing
and sewn together with the "turkey needle"
passed down from the grandpa who was a doctor
and we always heard the story
about how her two grandpas lived in the same town:
one was the doctor and the other the Episcopal priest
so she grew up with one grandpa who saved lives
and the other who saved souls.

And today I'm thankful
for one son home from Kentucky
(and not Kandahar)
and the other who called to check in.
I'm thankful for family
and friends who are family
for email and Facebook and text messages
and for the love and support that continues to surround
with hugs and hopes.

I'm thankful
for colleagues who challenge and comfort
for sweet dogs who love unconditionally
for the privilege of meaningful work
for healthy grief and healing hope
for k.d. lang and Leonard Cohen
and the power of music to heal.

I'm thankful
for Four More Years;
for the arc of the moral universe
that bends toward justice;
for prophets and pioneers;
for truth tellers and risk takers;
for bridge builders and boundary crossers;
and for the Good News of a God
who loves us beyond our wildest imagining
with the promise that even death
cannot separate us from that love
that is all and in all.

For all these and so much more I am -- on this Thanksgiving Day -- Thankful Anyway.


Ann said...

Lovely poignant bittersweetsweet -- more sweet than bitter.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I am thankful for our friendship, my love, and for your courageous witness and ministry.

Unknown said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Susan!

Mel said...

thank you for sharing. My prayers are with you on this holiday and the hoidays to come. I'm in my second year with out my love. It does get easier, but you never forget what you once had.

Michele said...

Thank you. This is my first holiday season after the deaths of both my parents this spring; not at all the same, but still comforted by your words here.