Ringraziamento!

I hope that everyone had a joyous Thanksgiving, and spent the day letting your loved ones know how much they mean to you.

(I'm all the way left)

Two days before Thanksgiving, my brother wed. I gained a new sister. There was much rejoycing and a level of family togetherness that definitely trumped the holiday to follow.

The next day, the newlyweds were off to Orlando for a honeymoon of blissful fun away from all the family groping and congratulations; it was a well-deserved break for both of them, and I’m still waiting for the pictures they took (you know you did, guys. Pony up!). Actually, I’m still waiting on the professional wedding photography and it’s driving me a little nuts.

The day they left was my other brother’s birthday. He’s a Paramedic and had a 24hr shift that day — not much in the way of birthday celebration. In the early afternoon, I received a call from my mom. “Grandma has passed.” The matriarch of our very close family was gone. Just… gone. She passed in her own home, and my mom’s little sister found her, laid a pillow under her head and wept. When my mom arrived, Grandma was still where she lay. When I arrived, her body was gone and everyone was sitting, dumbfounded. My mom’s other sister was released from spinal rehab early and was able to attend the visitation and funeral in a wheelchair. Relatives from up the eastern seaboard came, and while the preacher stood at her gravesite and proselytized several of us later confirmed that we felt her spirit angrily wondering what the hell this generic Baptist fuck was doing as she was put into the earth. Many of us cried angry tears. When my brother stood to read the poem she requested, the tears turned from anger to true grief for what our family had lost.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

If there had been no preacher at all, and this was all she wanted it would’ve been enough. She was the most Christian woman I’ve ever known, but that included being pissed at the growing number of “hypochrisitans” that seemed to be awkwardly controlling this world. When we went through her closet, we found a “What Would Jesus Bomb” t-shirt as well as angry letters to politicians (I’m talking to you, Joe Wilson). She was an outstanding human being who lost two daughters and before the end of her life saw a third child paralyzed from the waist down in a terrible accident. I can only guess at the heartache she has lived with, but I can marvel at who — through all combined forces — she became.

  • I am thankful for my last living Grandma.
  • I am thankful for my living family
  • I am thankful for my parents
  • For my brothers
  • For my incredible nieces
  • For my best friend overcoming cancer at 30
  • For all my friends
  • For my dog
  • For the fact that my life continues even through hardship
  • For the roof over my head and the food on my table
  • For art, always
  • For AAA
  • For Betaseron
  • For no new lesions on my brain after the discovery of over 40 at Dx
  • For my new love, perfect in all the normal ways and perfect in understanding my condition and the limitations it arbitrarily throws my way
  • I am thankful for life — for having the opportunity to make something of it that adds something to the lives of others.

I am thankful, also, for anyone who bothers to read this rambling trolley of a blog. My thanks to you and yours.

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