Friday, October 07, 2011
Thanks Giving on Wheels
(Image of a turkey holding a Canadian flag with the words 'Happy Thanksgiving, eh!' printed beside the turkey. Turkey looks happy, probably because this blogger is vegetarian)
Today, officially, will begin Thanksgiving Weekend.
It's a holiday that, to me, is an important one. As someone who tends to depression and tends to a bleak world view, I need to be reminded to stop, think, and be grateful. Many who know me find it difficult to see the effort it takes to keep the darkness of depression from o'ertaking me - possibility because early in my life the little children's song 'Count Your Blessings' caught my imagination. I struggle, always, to see the other side of situations - a tactic that, for me, has literally been life saving. The lyrics of that song - I bet anyone who knows it will immediately start humming, confused me and inspired me all at the same time:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
I didn't know what 'life's billows' were and I didn't know that they could be 'tempest tossed'. But I did understand the idea of counting blessings, naming them, 'one by one'. And I always found the song to be right, I was indeed surprised. Even very young I was a bit of a cynic, I wasn't sure that God really had a master plan that necessitated me being born in Sundre Alberta. I figure that would take 'micro managing' to an outrageous level, so I didn't ever buy that. But I did understand that I needed to take notice of the subtlety with which goodness presented itself to me. Pain is louder than pleasure .... AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!! as it compares to mmmmmmmmmmmm. Hatred, with it's rea face, throbbing veins and sweaty forehead - calls attention to itself in ways that love never can - at least in the world of a child.
I remember, one Sunday, home from church, humming the tune and thinking about blessings. I remember the feeling giving way to one of intense loneliness. I remember lying back on my bed with the upstairs window open. I remember the far off sound of a lawn mower. I remember, moments later, the scent of fresh grass filling the room. It was like being visited by pleasure. It was like, hell I'll just say it, God dropping by. Blessings. I have many. I experience more. I am well and truly thankful - but only when I remember to be.
So, I have decided to make this a Thanksgiving weekend. Every day through Thanksgiving Monday, I'm going to write about things I'm thankful for ... and I'm going to give myself the challenge of making all these things, those that relate to disability itself - my experience of the last five years. What I'm grateful for ... what gifts my disability has given me. Not one post for several days about dealing with stares and glares, inaccessibility and inhospitable attitudes, not even a 'whine or moan'.
For four days, it will be an attitude of gratitude from me.
I'm afraid I'll pull a muscles from the effort it is going to take, but hey, I'm in a wheelchair - who cares?