by Dani

Thanksgiving reminds us to take a moment and consider all of the things we are thankful for. Like so many, I am thankful for my family. My friends. My job. My home.

I am thankful I had the opportunity to serve my country and was taught not only how to learn by example, but to lead by example. I am thankful I was afforded a quality education, that I have shelter, that my needs are met, that I am in a position to help meet the needs of others.

When I learned that my mother was dying I imagined that I would begin to feel that life was unfair. But I didn’t. While it might seem unfair that she didn’t get to see her grandchildren grow up, there are  many that don’t grow old enough to have children. It’s all about perspective.

Today is my thirty-eighth birthday. I share my birthday with my mother’s mother. Grandma turned ninety today. She will tell you that at ninety, while she has lost much in this world, she remains thankful that she still has all of her “mah-bles.” I am thankful to have a grandmother.

When you live with your seventy-seven year old father you learn to be thankful for things that people in other situations might not have on their gratitude list.

Some days I appreciate not stepping in pee on the bathroom floor. Every day I am grateful that the odds are I won’t go down like a free drink if I accidentally kick a matchbox car or miss a step on the stairs. I am grateful that I am the “second youngest broad in the house.”

When you live with an elderly person you learn to appreciate your youth. You learn to appreciate and respect your health. You learn to not complain about not quite turning forty when your roommate is staring down the barrel of eighty because, while he won’t, he will want to punch you.