I like Thanksgiving. Not all the childhood memories, though my family did a pretty good show of dysfunction, we did have the kids' table. The last family Thanksgiving I remember was just before my first sixties adventure, and at 24 and 20 my cousin Marie and I were entitiled to sit at the grown-ups' table but chose to sit with the teen-agers instead. (A few months later we all got stoned at my brothers' Bar Mitzvah.)
There have been many Thanksgivings since then, and with friends they have been pleasant - for some years I had the holiday with friends on the Saturday, when she made dinner for her family, so I got to watch another family do it's thing.
After I moved back east, my brother, who is eight years younger than I, and I reconnected and for a few years we had Thanksgiving together, making the New York/Massachusetts trip and getting to know each other as grown-ups. Thinking of something we were thankful for was part of our new tradition, and when we stopped having the holiday together after he was married and I had my son, we went to visit the Jersey part of the family. For my son, taking the few minutes to think of something to be thankful for was an especially nice tradition.
Now my son is grown up and doesn't live with me; we are in Arizona where my sister also lives. Sometimes I don't do anything special, and two years ago I was planning to meet my son at a buffet restaurant that did Thanksgiving dinner. When he didn't show up, I still wanted to do something, so I went to Mimi's, a place I like a lot, and had dinner there. Last year I went back there with my sister, and today she brought a friend who was also alone and I brought my son. I like preparing the meal, but I am thankful not to have to clean up.
So this year I am thankful that I get to have the holiday with people I love, and bring home a doggie bag for the doggie, who just finished her Thanksgiving dinner.
I am thankful that the unthinkable didn't happen in the election, and that in a very small way I got to help prevent the unthinkable.
I am thankful there is at least a cease fire in Gaza and Israel.
I am thankful for good friends. When I went to NN 12 this year in Providence, I managed to see many wonderful friends I haven't seen in 19 years - the kind of friend with whom you can just pick up the conversation as if you saw each other just the other day.
And I am thankful for this community, which not only has helped me find my voice over the four years I have been here, but has provided friends who are anything but virtual. You have given me support, both emotional and material, that has gotten me over some bumps, and continues to to so more and more. When I gave myself the screen name ramara and began to write, I got to like ramara. Over time, there is less and less difference between ramara and me, so I guess I find myself more likeable as well.
So I do like taking time to think about being thankful. Even when other things in my life have been horrible, or maybe expecially then, it helps. I guess I'm lucky always to have something to be thankful for.