Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Holy Day



Venerated, sacred, good, devoted to. These are the words listed under the dictionary definition of "holy."

Thanksgiving is a rare holiday--it's non denominational and crosses into ecumenical realms as well as being observed separately from religion. It's a beautiful American holiday when we open our homes to others to share and celebrate a day spent centered on history, family, and our need to give thanks.

When I was little, I used to call Thanksgiving "practice." I would tell my grandmother that it gets people "practicing" being nice before the holidays begin. I still think of it that way. Warming up to start anew. Refining ourselves and polishing up our act a bit--rubbing off some of the selfish that serves no one.

We give thanks and concentrate on the gratitude. It's when we put on the glasses of gratefulness that we see the blessings we were too blind to notice before we corrected our vision.

Earlier this week, I had to take my youngest in for an annual blood draw. It's something he's had to do every year since he was two. He doesn't like it, but he knows he has to do it. He always tells me on the morning of our appointment that he's going to be brave this time, but when we arrive at the hospital, he gets quiet.

While we were waiting for his name to be called with this last visit, a small girl came over, sliding next to us to watch Grover singing on Sesame Street on the TV monitor mounted on the wall. She stared at my son who was leaning against my shoulder and asked him, "Do you have diabetes, too?" My son looked at me, not knowing how to answer.

I prodded him, "Go ahead, honey, tell her why you're here. So she knows."

"No, I'm here for something else ..." and his voice just stopped. I could tell he knew to say more, but didn't know what.

"No, honey," I looked at her pretty face. "We're here for something else. Are you here for a diabetes check?"

"Yeah. I've been here since this morning. I have to stay here all day till they say I'm done. I had to come yesterday, too."

"Oh. Well, you are as brave as my son. You both are so brave."

Her parents called her back, and she left us.

Soon it was our turn, and I held my son on my lap as they drew his blood. It was over quickly, but that didn't lessen his anxiousness. We waved to the little girl as we left the lab and I took my boy to the pharmacy next door, where they have penny candy and little white sacks that I let my son fill until he feels there's enough Swedish Fish and Nerds and Twizzlers to make him feel right again.

We drove home quietly, the only sound in the car the rustling of his paper sack as he fishes out his favorite candy.

"Mom?"

"Yes, honey."

"Nothing like a trip to the hospital to change your perspective. Yesterday I felt so sad that I have to do this every year and my friends don't. But then we saw that girl, and she has to come all the time. I'm really lucky."

I was quiet while the wisdom of this ten-year-old boy settled over me. He knows more now than grown people learn in a lifetime.

"Yes, baby, sometimes we're lucky, and we don't even know it."

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and I wish you moments in life of finding yourself feeling just how fortunate we all are.

***

35 comments:

  1. He is a wise one, isn't he?
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, my friend.
    xo

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to the one and only Alison.

      xo

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  2. From the mouths of babes we hear the word.

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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    1. Ms. A, thank you for your love, support, encouragement and faithfulness to my writing here, and elsewhere. It means so very much--so thank you.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Hope you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving day, Alexandra. I miss celebrating it back in the US but I will have my own little Thanksgiving day with my half American little man :D

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    1. You will and I know it will be so very special, memorable, and sweet. You and your little man. xo

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  5. mmm i wish we all had those moments...humbling you know...i hope you have an incredible thanksgiving...tell e hi for me!

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    1. You, too, B. To you and yours. Wishing you many many blessings.

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  6. Kids are so smart. We just need to listen. He is such a sweet kid; I hope he enjoyed his candy, and that you all have a wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving!

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  7. What a great story for Thanksgiving. Sometimes kids just get it, don't they?

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    1. Thank you, Shannon. I'm feeling especially grateful for the children I'm so very, very lucky to have. I'm so lucky, that's what I think every night ...

      Happy Thanksgiving to one of the most selfless bloggers out there. xo

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  8. You rat! You made me cry! This is a beautiful story and puts such a perspective on things. I'm grateful for YOU, my friend.

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  9. I got scoliosis at 13 and had to go to the local YMCA to swim, the thinking being that this would help straighten my back. (it didn't) I was so upset that I had to go that I bitched and whined for days, trying every trick in the book to get my parents to try SOMETHING else.

    The first day I showed up, all the other kids had either Muscular Dystrophy or Cerebral Palsy. I never complained again and got friendly with the other kids. One parent told my mother that "thank God your daughter is here, because my daughter loves her."

    When mom told me that, it changed me forever. FOREVER. Probably will have the same effect on Auggie.

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    1. You're right, Suzy.

      It seems that way with all 3 of mine, and their own individual health issues: they've learned compassion through their challenges.

      Thank you.

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  10. "Sometimes we're lucky and we don't even know it". Thank you for that. I needed that reminder. Happy Thanksgiving, love.

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  11. Just a perfect reminder for a true Thanksgiving. Love your guy and his new-found wisdom. Wishing you and yours a lovely and delicious holiday.

    And if, next year, my family and I oh, let's just say happen to be traveling in, oh let's say the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin, and we, oh, just happen to get stranded on Thanksgiving by something like, oh, our car breaking down... we'll be invited for dinner, right? (What's that in my coat pocket? The spark plugs? How did they get there?) xoxoxo, my friend

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    1. You're so funny, my wonderful Varda. How I WISH you were here.

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  12. Wise young one, and lucky in moms as well : )

    Happy Thanksgiving to You and Your family Alexandra!

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    1. You, too, to all of your beautiful girls.

      xo

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  13. Yes he is very wise and they BOTH are very brave. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

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  14. So profound. What a wise little boy.
    Happy Thanksgiving :)

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    1. Thank you, Renee. I wish you a wonderful, sweet holiday.

      So happy I met you this year.
      xo

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  15. out of the mouth of babes.
    there is always...ALWAY someone out there who is carrying a bigger cross than you. Sometimes we focus too much on our problems that we don't see that.
    We should be so grateful of what we do have...even if it's your mother in law killing the turkey twice and making you eat it. I can see that I am lucky to have her. Lucky that she raised a beautiful soul that I married...and she's shown me that no matter how old you are...you cannot rock a fucking mullet.
    Much love to you and your family today xo

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    1. LOVED your post about your half breed husband. I hope my son's marry a good woman like you.

      Happy Thanksgiving, my Kim.

      xo TAKE CARE.!!!

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  16. Your precious son . . .

    Happy Thanksgiving dear friend.

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  17. Love you and your boy. All your boys. All of you.

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  18. Your son is very wise. Must get that from his mother.

    If we really look, I think we can all find a lot to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  19. Love yous. Love him. Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. xoxoxo

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  20. I love his wisdom and understanding! What a wise son you have!

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