Every year, despite the fact that I hate Thanksgiving (not the idea, but the execution), I like to pause and list some things here that I am thankful for. Because I think it's important to do that more than once a year, not just on that one day when some poor sap who drew the short straw has to work her butt off preparing a huge meal and cleaning up a huger mess and then sending everyone out the door with just enough goodwill to keep them from murdering someone in a Wal-Mart over a Black "Friday" deal on a TV made in a factory employing foreign children working for pennies an hour.
So here it is. What I am thankful for in the closing days of 2013.
That we sold my mother's house. And put that whole chapter of grief and "closure" in our rear view. Finally.
And that the young woman who bought it was happy with her purchase and did not ask if someone had died in the house.
Ten years cancer-free.
Technically, I'm cured now. Technically. My body, I think, knows this, and is just waiting for my brain to accept it and stop worrying so damn much.
A healthy daughter who is bright, kind, and the hardest-working kid in the pool at swim practices.
No matter what becomes of this "dedicate your late adolescence to the Swim Gods" thing we have going on, whether she pursues it in college or someday leaves it in her wake, she's learned a lesson about the value of hard work that I never could have taught her.
That, in a nation with an increasing wealth divide, I'm part of the few. The proud. The middle.
We're two employed people who live in a modest house in a safe neighborhood and, when we wish, can afford to buy the good beer. My thankfulness for this, and my awareness that it could all change in the blink of an economic downturn, cannot be overstated.
Not having to put my hand inside a turkey cavity at 6am on Thanksgiving day.
My sister and I are dining out, and one of Jason's sisters is doing the turkey for his family gathering later in the week, so I get the year off from fondling livers and giblets. Woot.
For the tall guy.
I'm sure it doesn't shock you to know that I'm not an easy person to live with. This year was worse than most; I spent too many free Sundays in my mother's house cleaning out 35 years worth of memories, and then came home with both literal and emotional baggage that made me weepy, angry, and a touch temperamental for days afterward. Thank God I have someone who puts up with me. And who has the good sense to know when I'm lingering on the ledge and calls me down for Dewey's Pizza and a Breaking Bad marathon.
That's it. What are you thankful for?
Now, go beat someone up for that TV. 'Tis the season!