Thursday, September 05, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Tonight I am thankful for:

* the wonder of butterflies. Today, I went with my son and a dear friend to Discovery Place where we watched Flight of the Butterflies. If you've ever seen The March of the Penguins, then you can imagine the beauty of this film. How on earth do those animals know where to go, generation after generation? Flying south of the border as cool weather begins, eating, laying their eggs, resting and mating all along the way and then when winter ends up north, they make their way back. How? Why? I am grateful for the scientists and film makers who brought their story to us.

* the bounty of the supermarket
* the ability to buy what we want and need freely
* the opportunity to serve those who are not able to shop freely at the supermarket. Today, after seeing the movie, we went to our church's Loaves and Fishes food pantry to help distribute food to folks who needed help. One of the women we worked with took a bag of dog food, explaining that her dog hadn't had anything to eat today because they didn't have any food for her. My first thought was: "You could give her some of your food." Then I remembered, if she had enough food to spare, she wouldn't have been there at Loaves and Fishes. It saddens me to think of all the cats and dogs who are loved dearly by their human companions, but aren't getting enough to eat. To think of all the hungry children is truly heart-breaking. I am honored and grateful to be able to help fill some empty tummies through L&F as well as the Second Harvest Food Bank.
* the gratitude that the men and women expressed at being given the food they received
* how happy my son was to be there helping

* cool mornings for long walks
* US Open tennis
* meeting a friend at Michael's Craft store today - to wander and talk there and then in Target
* an invitation to lunch at a local country club tomorrow
* a freshly baked peanut butter cookie from The Great Harvest bakery
* red seedless grapes for 99 cents a pound
* discovering great dresses at Good Will and the Salvation Army store, not having to pay more than $5 to look fantastic
* escaping with Project Runway, Chopped, and House Hunters International

* a book I picked up at the library called Writing as a Way of Healing. So much wisdom and encouragement in this book. Here is one of my favorite sections:

"For illness (in Ethiopia) is viewed as a mystery to try to fathom (thought it might not yield its secrets) rather than as a puzzle to be solved (as it tends to be viewed in North America.) 
"I wouldn't be alone in dealing with my illness. The cleric and I would form a healing partnership. This is because my illness is understood in communal, mind-body, and interactive terms rather than in individual, physiological, and singular terms...
"I wouldn't be left along to comtemplate my illness, nor would I be told of its meaning by someone surer than I of what my body was experiencing. My healing journey, then, would constitute a collaboration. I would tell my story; the cleric would listen. Together, we would ponder the conundrum of what I was experiencing. Together we would try to understand its meaning. After hearing my story and assessing my circumstances, the cleric would devise a scroll for my personal use, drawing upon his knowledge about efficacious signs and symbols. 
"Reviewing my life in the context of my illness would constitute the single most significant part of my healing journey. For it would invite me to impose a kind of narrative order on what had happened, on the seeming chaos and destabilizing effect of my illness. It would invite me to think of possible cause and plausible effect. It would invite me to link my present with my past; to ponder how I might have come to harm; to imagine what my future might now hold. It would give me something to do now - a present-day task that I could effectively fulfill. Most important, it would involve me as an active participant in my journey to well ness. Being involved would make me feel less victimized, more efficacious. And thinkinkg of myself as capable would require restoration of belief in myself, a belief that had been seriously undermined by my illness." AMEN!!! I would LOVE to have a doctor who listened to me more than he/she talked, who asked more questions and didn't just offer answers. I would LOVE to have "a healing partnership" with my doctor. My chiropractor comes pretty close, but there are emotional and spiritual aspects to dis-ease, to kanswer, and to surgery that he and I haven't talked about. The good news is that I have dear friends who are willing to do some of the tough work, the weepy work, the soul work with me. Speaking of which...

* I am grateful for your support of me as a writer, as a woman, as a friend, as a fellow life traveler dealing with this crappy kanswer thing. Right after I was diagnosed, a friend from church said, "You've got to live life on life's terms." She was so right. And that's what I feel like I'm doing these days - living life on its own terms. With laughter, tears, numb toes, and all. I'm learning to tell my story more openly and honestly. I'm also learning that some people can't handle me telling my story. That's fine. I won't tell them any more of my story. Which brings me back to you - thank you, friends, for your presence here. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for the emails you send me behind the scenes. Thank you for the love, the thoughts, the prayers, the visits, the cards - thank you for being you. Thank you for encouraging me to be me.

1 comment:

Amelia said...

What a touching post, and so great to be reminded of all there is to be thankful for no matter what our situation might be. I share things on my blog too that I wonder what others will think about it, but there is such value and healing in sharing I believe.

Sending you many positive thoughts and well wishes on your continued journey.