With Thanksgiving looming just hours away, I have struggled with writing a post on how thankful I am for everything in my life. So I find myself at the last minute finally putting my feelings on "paper" because, in truth, I am thankful for so many things in my life, including my life itself. However, I am conflicted because I am not thankful for things in my life which are now a part of me but I wish were not.
As I lose my dexterity and physical strength and my ability to speak to ALS, I am the opposite of thankful. I find myself thinking of the physical changes I've experienced so far and how they affect me every day, how much more difficult my life is every day, and I wonder from time to time what changes will be next. I wonder if this will be the last time I will be able to cook or eat Thanksgiving dinner. These are just some of the things that make gratitude challenging for me.
Yet, somehow, I find myself still feeling a deep sense of gratitude for so many things. I am thankful for still possessing some ability to communicate, for still being able to live with independence, for the strength and adaptability to get through each day as it comes. I am thankful for having spent the last 25 years with the love of my life and for sharing those years together making incredible memories and living life in such a fulfilling way. I am thankful that we had an amazing child who has added so much love, joy and laughter to our lives and made our family complete. I am thankful to have the love and support of my family and friends and hope they know I love and support them as well.
I know that I am not alone in feeling conflicted by gratitude. Everyone has challenges they face in life and at some point we reach the time when we have to make the choice to move towards the light or continue to wallow in the darkness. For myself, I find the choice needing to be made more and more often and I continue to choose the light. Some days are harder than others, but in the end, gratitude for the good, the wonderful, the love, the joy, the laughter, and even the lessons I am learning are a strong motivator to keep pushing forward.
Today I am thankful for all the wonderful pieces of this life I am living, and that includes you.