Giving Thanks 

I’m sitting on a chair right across from my sister who’s laying on a table while being hooked up to a huge tens machine. It’s supposed to be transmitting these little electrodes to stimulate her muscles as well as feeling in her leg. She’s laughing and joking and making fun of a picture on her phone. While I’m getting all emotional about what happened to her (stroke, bleeding in the brain), the aftermath (no feeling in her left leg and foot) of her stroke, and her future, she spends her time cheering me up.

Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

I lost friends this year, to sickness, to violence and to unexpected accidents. I cried many tears of confusion, of exhaustion and of love. I didn’t publish a book this year. I helplessly watched my loved ones’ marriages crumble. I learned about friendships and loyalty by experiencing enmity and disloyalty.

And then there is this.

My sister is alive. Changed maybe, slowed down perhaps, but in no means robbed of her zest for life. I saw the world this year, accomplished the biggest project of my career, watched my children create their own paths and finally found the strength to own my words and my actions. I also found new friends (#cbphilippines and #braesbaes) and fell deeper in love with old ones (#braesbutterflies).

That’s what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful that the slices of life come in different flavors.

I’m grateful that the downs give me the humility to enjoy the ups.

I’m glad that when all else fails, hope is just a prayer away.

And that love remains our saving grace through it all.