Taking a moment amidst the clutter of my upturned life, I forced myself to stand still and just breath and release the anxiety and stress that this last year handed me. It took me some time to sweep away my initial assessment of the year as one of glass shards, barbed wire, and shit, to one that at its core was remarkable. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in this year of embracing eyes to see and ears to hear is to carefully recognize my own subterfuge and wash it away so that I might see and hear things as they really are. I may not always like the result, which is why we all create subterfuge, right? to try and make the world more palatable, to fit the world into the mold that we think it should be? I’m over that. I was forced to be over that…against my will much of the time. I am not in my own personal Kansas anymore.
So as Thanksgiving draws near, I began to focus on what I am thankful for. I am thankful my husband is not dead, mic drop. I forced myself to relive those moments of his accident and drive across Wisconsin with my youngest son in tow to his aid, his face white with pain and screaming the 5 hrs home, and being absolutely powerless to do anything to take the pain away. The frightful prayers of begging God to please make him OK, and for being sorry for every harsh word I ever said (until I had to clean the commode for the first time and the harsh words came back). I am thankful for realizing that the magnanimity of who he is was able to shine out through all the people who showed up, surrounded, and lifted us up in a time when our livelihood came to a screeching halt and were able to see what a difference he has made to my world and so many others. It embarrassing to admit it took something like this to blast the point home.
I am thankful that God gave me two distinct and unusual sons who, as they get older, leave me verklempt much of the time because of how truly amazing they are. I remember my eldest asking me when he was younger whether the love of God could reach even the darkest corner of hell, and how he broke down at a football game once when he was 11 because he was told there was no cure for cancer. I remember how when he corrected me as a child he would start his sentences with “Actually”and proceed to press his point of view. More importantly, I am thankful for how he has expanded my understanding of a non-binary LGBTQ community and his assessment of what is broken in the world, and deep empathy for those that don’t fit society’s often limiting norms. The fact that he is a computer engineer and never gets impatient when I ask him computer questions is icing on the cake.
I am thankful for my youngest son, who from the get go kept me on my toes as the strongest willed child known to humanity. I dreamt once that I was laying on my back looking up at the stars and knew I could move them around and suddenly he was there and said as he was moving a star, “look mama, I can move them too” I once had to pull over the car because he felt sick when he saw an eagle grab a cat and fly away. His deep empathy and love for animals was a sure sign to me that this strong athletic D2 football player could redefine what true masculinity is. He sees through subterfuge, he sees possibility and what is necessary to move stars. I am thankful he has embraced so many of the challenges he has faced, knowing full well he is the benefactor of all the wisdom that those challenges have brought and will indeed help him move the stars. The fact that he definitely has his father’s “magic hands” as a budding chiropractor is also icing on the cake.
Most of all, I am thankful for seeing and hearing clearly…amidst it all.