happy thanksgiving, y'all.
this thanksgiving i am grateful for many things.
as usual in my life, the thing i am most grateful for is my people.
i've been thinking a lot about courage lately.
the people i claim as my people are courageous.
they battle breast cancer, deal with recovery from double masectomies.
they've lost six month old babies who they visited every day in the hospital, only to never be able to bring them home. they've held, washed, clothed, and cradled their still born babies.
they've been sexually assaulted and abused.
they've lost loved ones to katrina, iraq, depression, cancer, addiction, and guns.
they suffer with depression, eating disorders, anxiety.
they've lost their hair, their ability to walk, their sight, their ability to eat most things, their indepedence (and their retirement savings!).
they've lost their closest friends and family after claiming their sexual orientation or gender identity. they've gained and then lost the ability to marry their partners.
but these people are my people because even in the face of all of this, they haven't lost their ability to laugh, or to make the people around them do the same. my people still want to know how YOU are, even as they are barely hanging on. my people know how to celebrate small victories and big blessings. my people know how to be grumpy as hell and how to cry. my people possess a certain amount of grace that helps to see them through. they may not be able to forgive themselves, but they definitely forgive you.
my people have not given up hope. my people know what's important - my people know that all we have is each other and a sense that things could be better. my people know about taking risks to get there.
the thing that has stuck with me since the historic evening of november 4th is this - many Americans - enough of us - were able to see through the lies and fear mongering to vote for a president who had been branded a pal to terrorists, a socialist, and a Muslim. (by the way, some of my closest friends are Muslim, so it really hurts me that this was considered an insult...) Many Americans - enough - voted for a man named Barack Hussein Obama - in a country where anything foreign is suspect. The fact that enough people took this risk and voted for hope and not fear makes me think maybe there are more of my people out there than I realized. And for that I'm thankful.