The most important thank-you

November 25, 2010

Giving thanks is sometimes an exercise in “yes, but…”

We thank the Universe for what we have, then hedge: “but I don’t have ….” or “but I wish I had…”

Yes, yes, life can be hard. We all have our challenges. {It’s not a contest.}

Seems to me that the greatest blessing, the one that supersedes every other, the one we all have in common, is the gift of being alive.

Life is a huge, mother-suckin’ gift, the biggest gift of all, and should not be taken lightly. Or for granted.

This year I am inspired by and honored to know a man named Jay. Oh, I don’t really know him. One of my Facebook friends (whom I don’t know IRL–in real life) posted a prayer call for him months ago, and I got drawn into his story. {The online community does that, involves us in the lives of people we don’t know IRL. But that’s not what this post is about.}

Jay’s been updating his online journal on Caring Bridge, one of sites that keep friends and family informed of a patient’s journey through illness.

It’s not easy to read.

His brutal honesty about his constant pain and his all-too-human fears, his struggle to come to terms with being the very ill father of pre-adolescent son and his courage in the face of a stream of not-great news are at the same time heartbreaking and inspirational.

He always ends his updates with a message exhorting his readers to “enjoy life, I am.”

I love that.

I awakened today in the very early pre-dawn hours thinking of Jay and praying for his miracle.

And so, as you sit at your Thanksgiving table with family and friends this week, I ask you to join me in giving thanks for life.

Despite aches and pains {and worse}, despite financial uncertainties and challenges, heartbreak, job woes, family troubles, depression, despite it all, if you’re reading this, you have been given the magical gift of life.

As Jay suggests, “Enjoy it!”

So, in honor of Jay, let’s:

Listen for the crunch of leaves as we walk off that slice of pumpkin pie. Watch the colors of the sunset that mark the end of a day of good fellowship and gratitude. Let a snowflake dance on our tongues. Enjoy the nose-reddening chilly air or the warm tropical breeze.

Let’s give thanks that we are ALIVE.

{And while we’re at it, let us offer healing thoughts and prayers for Jay and his fellow warriors.}

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

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