Gratitude

I’m an atheist. This makes Thanksgiving a problematic holiday, especially since a bunch of my friends are posting on Facebook about what they’re thankful for.

I’m not “thankful” for anything because I don’t believe there’s a magical being giving me stuff to be thankful for. (If you do, that’s great. I encourage you to believe whatever you want to believe.) I am, however, grateful.

I’m grateful I don’t have cancer. There was a time this summer when I thought I might. I’m grateful to my sister Dianne, who went with me for the biopsy and to the appointment to find out the results. I’m grateful to my sister Sharon, who urged me to have the one thing looked at which led to the discovery of the other, potentially more serious thing.

I’m grateful to my parents: my Mom, who’s been gone for almost seven years, and my Dad, who’s 75 and going strong, especially since the pacemaker. I’m again grateful to my sister Sharon, whose knowledge and skills and quick reaction probably saved Dad’s life in August.

I’m grateful I have two nephews who have grown to be fine young men. I’m grateful they have both found wonderful young women to love.

I’m grateful to my extended family — the aunts/uncles/cousins/in-laws who I love but don’t see very often because, well, I’m a recluse — for putting up with that whole recluse thing.

I’m grateful to my old friends from high school and college for staying in touch, and to Facebook for making that possible. I’m also grateful for the new friends I’ve made through Facebook.

I’m grateful to my friends from my time in Los Angeles. Their continuing adventures in the screen trade (and out of it) keep me connected to that most wonderful time in my life.

I’m grateful to my Nashville friends — the writers, the customers, the co-workers, the just plain friends — who have helped make my life richer for them being in it.

I’m grateful for the time I can spend at the Nashville Humane Association, because the kitties always make me feel better, no matter what else is going on. I’m also very grateful whenever one of the kitties is gone the next time I go, because that means they’ve found their forever home. I’m grateful NHA gave my kitty Mollie a way for me to find her.

And, to come full circle, I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful for the knowledge that this is not a dress rehearsal. There is no “after.” This is it. I choose to be grateful for it, and to do my best to make the most of it.

Thanks for reading.

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