I am thankful I was born! I love my life, and my parents made it happen. I am thankful that my parents loved each other long enough to have my brother and I. I am thankful they parted ways and became the best single parents they knew how to be. To my mother – thank you for being strong and independent, and for making mistakes so that I could learn from them. Your journey, Mommasita, inspires me always. To my father – thank you for being protective and wary and teaching me how to be safe in the harrowing world of men (insert slight sarcasm here because when I was a teenager, I was NOT thankful for this). Your love of music, Popsie-doodle, is one of the best gifts you’ve given me. To my brother – thank you for being my big brother and my friend and my keeper of secrets. I will always have your back, Brother.
I am thankful for all that has come before me, for all the battles won so that I could go to school and get a job and vote and not be expected to marry and have babies. I am thankful for birth control (insert no sarcasm here – I am thankful for birth control EVERY DAY). I am thankful to all the women before me who battled for change so that generations after, women wouldn’t have to (make fun of burning bras all you want – it worked). I am thankful for the new campaign about teaching men not to rape women and not simply teaching women how to protect themselves. I am thankful that we’re getting closer to equal pay for equal work. I am thankful for the opportunity to give back by working with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Shelter – in the short period I have been volunteering my time, I have seen great strength, hope and intelligence from women who are marginalized and forgotten. We have more bras to burn, and I am thankful I get to battle for change like the women before me.
I am thankful I live in a country where basic comforts can be taken for granted. I am thankful for running water, heat and electricity, and the ease with which I have access to each. I am thankful for free health care, which includes both physical and mental aid. I am thankful I get to live in Vancouver, and thankful for the spirit of community I have found here. I have access to mountains and oceans whenever I want, and I am in awe of and humbled by their beauty and power – thanks to nature for keeping things in perspective.
I am thankful for the amazing people in my life that support me, respect me and appreciate me, and importantly, want only that in return. I am so thankful that I get to be my weird, quirky, sassy self and people like me for it (phewph!). I am thankful that they choose to have me in their lives. Special thanks to my best friends Monica, Jen, Sue, Sandy, Bryan, Shayn, Marc and Jason – thank you so much for putting up with me for the last however many years we’ve been friends and thank you for sharing your joy and grief with me. I love you all. To my new friends, especially Brian, Linda, Jane, Leora, Craig, Jeremiah, Jaime, Maggie, Andrea, Yarra, Trevor and Fiona – thank you for inviting me into your lives and joining mine. You are all good apples and I feel lucky to call you friends.
I am thankful I was born healthy and have remained so since. I owe my independence to my health. I can lift, carry, push, reach and drag. I can breath, walk, run, sit and get back up again. I don't even have allergies. I am very, very lucky to be in such good health. I never have to think about if I can do something, because I know I can. And I do not take this for granted. I eat well and I exercise regularly. So one more thank you to my parents: Mom, I don't love my knobby knees, and Dad, you could have kept your crooked teeth to yourself, but I forgive these minor flaws and thank you both for my terrific immune system and general awesome health.
Happy Thanksgiving, folks.
Me! I took this after a run in August 2013.