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My Thanksgiving Gratitude List 2023

I just completed doing my shopping for Thanksgiving. I've got the turkey, the cranberry sauce, the green beans, mushrooms, swiss cheese and onion topping, and this afternoon I will bake two of the infamous green bean and mushroom casseroles to take to two different dinners for others.

I started contemplating what I am grateful for this year, and I was going to make a list of my "Top Ten Things to Be Thankful For", with the number one always being my only child, my son, who is in his mid-thirties. I was told at a very young age that because of a birth defect I was born with, I could never have a child, and if I did, it would kill me. I just turned 65 last week.

I call him the son who doesn't look like me because his skin is a beautiful coffee with cream color for he is African-American, Native American and what I like to call Euro-Caucasian. In his case, that includes English, German, Irish, Scandinavian and Scottish. He is my heart in this world.

I was having a conversation with a colleague yesterday and the subject of my son came up. She had mentioned how hard it must have been for me to be the mother of a child who some would call 'mixed race' but I call God's special blend. I told her that indeed, I have dealt with some circumstances that I would not have if his father looked like me, however, people only know about my son if I choose to share about him. He on the other hand doesn't have an opportunity to hang up his 'skin' when he comes home from work. Nor would I want him to be anything other than who he is, a beautiful young man who is doing his best to survive in this world

I have no idea how others treat my son, if they are kind to him or if they treat him as he is somehow less than how they see themselves and their place in humanity. As I prepare his gifts for Christmas to send after Thanksgiving, I include in his letter the words that he is never 'less' than anyone else on this planet. In fact, he is MORE - as he is the best of both his father and myself, his mother, and I hope that my words stay in his heart more than any negativity he may receive from others.

As you go through life, your list of things you are grateful for changes, and you realize that simply being alive and living in a Country where we have these ideals of freedom is truly something to be grateful for, even if it means fighting for them. The top ten gets condensed down from personal accomplishments to simply still being in the game. Hopefully, the game you are in is the 'good' fight, not one that is filled with ways to take advantage of others or hurt them - others who do not look like you, vote like you, or pray in the same church as you do. Perhaps they do not pray at all.

This year, I am thankful that all my relations are still walking this Earth with me, for every day I wake up and we are all still here is a GOOD day. That alone outweighs the ups and downs of growing a business. We may not see each other much, we may not communicate much, but we are ALL still on this Earth together. As long as we are on this side of the ground, there is always hope. For forgiveness of ourselves and each other, for understanding of our different experiences, and for generational healing.

What are you most grateful this year?

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