What is there, Besides Love?
Thanksgiving isn't one of my favorite holidays. Not only is there the inherent faux-history in the schoolbook version of the Pilgrim's first Thanksgiving, for many years I was an active vegetarian*, so the emphasis on eating turkey** was (and remains) abhorrent to me.
(Remy's been asking everyone this year, "Do you like to eat turkey?" and I have been answering, "sometimes mommy likes to eat turkey and sometimes mommy does not like to eat turkey" which is too confusing to him. But is my truth. I wish I could just answer "no" like he does.)
However, the one aspect of Thanksgiving that I can truly accept and get behind is the emphasis on gratitude***.
As a mom of a kid who has special needs, I need gratitude to get me through the day.
Gratitude is, simply put, loving the life one has. Not the life one wished for, or thought they deserved, but the actual minutia of this one wild precious life we are living right here, right now..
And what is there, besides love, to keep us grateful?
We go through our days blindly, never knowing the end that awaits. Love is the constant, if we're lucky and we pay attention and follow our hearts to what is in front of us.
Gratitude is love.
So while gratitude alone won't make my historical issues with this American holiday go away, it will give me a day with my family, in thanks and love. And maybe that will be enough, this year.
Next year****, a year of liberation for the captive turkeys. Next year, a year of grieving for the lies we've been fed about our ancestors (and some honesty about our collective history). Next year, a year of solidarity and true thanksgiving!
Happy Gratitude Day.
* I am now a flexitarian. Mostly veggie, except when I eat meat by choice. I've been leaning towards going veggie/ pescatarian again but it's difficult for many reasons.
** If you've never thought of it this way, take a moment to consider how many turkeys are slaughtered just for this one day. One day. We don't really eat much turkey the rest of the year. And yet, there's an entire holiday devoted to eating this bird. It hurts my heart.
*** I mean, for fucks sake, I keep a gratitude journal!
**** This last paragraph follows the traditional Jewish phrasing of the end of the Passover service.