2022 has not been the greatest year for me.
I am selfish. Fifty-two years, five months, and eleven days is just not long enough. I wanted more.
There are still many things to be thankful for.
Chief among these, I am thankful for memories. Her smile which could light up the darkest room. The sparkle in her eye. Her grace. Her worldliness and intelligence, as well as the incredible innocence and naivity that would often balance it. Her compassion and empathy. Her anger at injustice and the stupidity of her fellow creatures. Her forgiveness. The shared joys and sorrows. The quiet moments. The gentle touch. The enthusiastic hugs. The laughter. The tears. The countles ways she made me into the man I am today. Her help and support. The many and feeble ways I tried to let her know what she meant to me. The birth of our children and the sheer joy she had when told that our first was a girl., as well as the fact that we were able to dance around her hospital room an hour after pour second, Christina, was born. The grandchildren. The ups and the downs. The quiet walks along the beach. The events we attended together. Our feeble attempts at tennis and at bowling. All of these memories are available at my beck and call and I am forever thankful for that.
I am thankful for my family. I could ask for none better.
I am thankful for my friends, both in person and on-line, many of whom I have never met but thier kindness, wisdom, and support are without bounds.
I am thankful for science, not only because that may allow me to beat the cancer that is in my body but because it can lead us all to a brighter future. Science has allowed us to begin to explore the depths of the universe and the beginning of time. It has brought us a greater undertanding of nature, the world around us, and ourselves. It may yet get us through climate change, the destruction of our environment, and overpopulation. Science has always been a two-edged sword but our challenges and their solutions should not have to come easy. Thus, I am also thankful for risk. It can moderate our actions and our thinking for the benefit of all.
I am thankful for animals. They add a beauty and a grace and a complexity to the world that it sorely needed. From the dolphins that romp in the sea to the venomous reptiles that my grandson studies, they are a constant reminder that their world is also our world. their place in existance is jst as important as ours. I would add one caveat: I am not thankful for spiders. I know they have an important place in the ecosystem but I hate 'em. hate 'em, hate 'em -- I would take a flamethrower to all of them if I could.
I am thankful for tacos.
And pie. Whoever came up with idea of pie should be lionized through all of history.
I am thankful for water, and feel we should do all in our power to protect our oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands.
I am thankful for music. I am thankful for words. Both music and words allow us to express ourselves as mucih as possible. I am thankful for the paintings of Marc Chagall. I am thankful for the dancing genius of the Nicholas Brothers. I am thankful for the songs of Tom Paxton. I am even (begrudgedly) thankful for the earworm of Sheena Easton's "Morning Train" that has been plaguing me constantly for the last month or so.
I am thankful for God, even though my perception of God may differ widely from anyone else's. I am thankful for everyone's idea of God, whether through organized religion or through personal experience. Any possible distortion of God into a hateful, bigoted, or evil engine of destruction I lay to human failure and arrogance and not to any deity. No one can convince me that God is anything but love.
I am thankful for nature. It is wild, wonderful, beautiful and capricious. It not only keeps us in awe but also on our toes.
It may sound cruel, but I am also thankful for the losses you have suffered. Somehow through the pain, I hope that you are able to come to terms with what your loved ones meant for you and for those around you. No one is put on this earth to remain here forever and the job of each human being is to help bring meaning and joy to others; if that job is well done, it is reflected in the memories and lives left behind.
So, yes. I am most thankful for memories.
Fifty-two years, five months, eleven days. Still not enough time, but the time I will hold onto joyfully and thankfully until my dying day.