24 November 2011

Epiphany at Thanksgiving

Epiphany - noun - a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely or commonplace occurrence or experience. 

You know the final scene of Dickens' Christmas Carol, where Ebeneezer Scrooge, enlightened by the meaning of Christmas, opens his window on the village below and wishes passersby a Merry Christmas?  Well, that's how it is for me this year with Thanksgiving.  Upon leaving work yesterday, I was wishing everyone (and I mean everyone!) a happy Thanksgiving.  I even hugged building security on my way out.

I have always loved Thanksgiving and the concept behind it.  A day to give thanks to God for all our blessings.  A day to enjoy the family.  But this year is different.  It's more than a "concept" and so much more than a day.  In reflection of all that has happened, healthwise, this year - recovery from gallbladder surgery, colon cancer, breast cancer round two/mastectomy surgery, my brother's colon cancer - it's actually been a very BLESSED year and I am so much richer, more blessed, and in a better place for it.  My heart is filled with joy, thankfulness, love, and compassion because of the experiences of this year.

Yes, we went through some tough times....BUT, today, on November 24, I am alive and well.  Not only that, but I am thriving.  This year, I saw my daughter graduate nursing school and move on to be a successful pediatric nurse.  I have seen my son thrive in his job as a project manager.  I have witnessed the love shared between my future son-in-law and my daughter and the respect and caring they have toward one another.  I have known true love from my husband who has been there for me every step of this journey...and who worries about me.  : ) 

I am blessed with a close family...that love and care for me.  That are there for me.  That support me, pray for me, cooked for me when I came home from the hospital.  I am thankful for a mom that came over to take care of me, even when she wasn't feeling well herself....who loves to spend time with me, watch dr. phil, judge judy and oprah with me....and give me advice on what vitamins to take and what books to read.  I am blessed with a closeness between my brothers and sister who send me sound clips of TV shows of the past - no brag, just fact - who text me to see how my doctor's appointments went, who buy me a bag of 36 popsicles when I just mentioned that "a" popsicle sounds good, and who share with me the stories of my nephews and nieces to put into perpective the beauty and preciousness of life.

I am blessed with a handful of true friends who are there for me through thick and thin.  Who email me throughout my day, one or two sentences, to commiserate about how we wish were were home now, or to share our days - happy or nerve-wracking --, or send me funny photos at just the right time.  : )   Who share crochet patterns with me, and laugh with me.  Who reach out to the homeless with me and who work toward making the world a better place.  Who rent a van and drive all the way out to Carpinteria, potluck in tow, to cheer my daughter and I cross the finish line after walking 39 miles for breast cancer.  AND THEN...who sign up to walk those 39 miles with me next year!  You have made my life better - every one of you. 

I have another family - a church family - that I am grateful for.  These are family members some of whose last names I don't even know. But it's not important.  We're all part of a larger family.  These are people that come up to me on Sundays, embrace me and ask how I'm feeling.  And tell me that they have been praying for me.  I know.  I can feel it.   I am humbled by them.

I am in tune as well to the blessings of my body and how it is working, despite it's problems.  The coordination it is taking for my brain to put the thought into motion, typing it on my screen right now, seeing the words pop up, hearing the clicking of the keys while being able to hear Segovia play Mendelssohn's String quartet No. 1 in E flat major.  Miraculous.  Smelling and tasting the coffee.  Feeling the warmth of my robe, enjoying the light in my dining room, and the love of my kitties that are "kuskurduvel"ing on against my legs. 

I am thankful for all my medical providers, whose hands - guided by God - helped me be here today.  My surgeons who removed cancer, re-routed me, created new parts for me -- I am truly grateful.  And for the nurses who took care of me around the clock ....and even the workers that cooked the meals in the hospital, and those who came and cleaned my room.  I appreciate them all so much more now.

I think I could go on and on...all day.   The Epiphany of Thanksgiving...on this very special Thanksgiving, is that everyday is a day of thanks.  The miracle of life is a blessing.  Our hearts beating, day in and day out since the day we were born; the wonder of our bodies working on their own...breathing without our conscious effort.  And the realization that we are not alone here...we all are part of one another.  We belong to one another. 

Life is precious and I am so blessed to live the life I do.  A full life.  A life filled with love and fullness because of so many who grace it. 

It has been an amazing year!  A Blessed Year!  Happy Thanksgiving!


Suzie Shatarevyan said...

Beautifully expressed! Every moment is a miracle to cherish and be thankful for. Yes Lord, there is not enough words to say how grateful we are, but you know our hearts and they are always resounding thank-you.

Fr. Vazken Movsesian said...

Beautifully stated, as only a beautiful person can. To this, allow me to add: Amen.