And I have so much to be thankful for.
First and foremost, I am thankful for grown children who, along with their spouses and significant others, are willing to take the time and trouble to spend this holiday with me. It was such a nice day. Good food and good conversation. Throw into the mix the grandchildren, and they day couldn't have been any better. These are the same grown children who are always there for me. Last week I couldn't get to the store and one of them picked up what I needed and delivered it to me. I needed a ride to David's for Thanksgiving, and immediately there was an answer to my email, telling me that she would pick me up. Another calls me to tell me about his children's good school report cards and sends me pictures sharing what they have been doing. Still another shows up every two weeks to take me shopping and hauls heavy bags of groceries up the stairs for me, until his knuckles are dragging on the ground from the weight of them. And they do things like this for me often. I wonder if they know how much this means to me, how much this eases my mind and how grateful I am that I have adult children who care enough to be there for me. Makes my life so much easier and much better than it would be without them.
I am thankful that I am able to live alone in my own home. I was thinking about my mother and how when she was my age, she had already been living in a nursing home for a number of years due to her health. Now at my age, there are occasionally times when my body lets me down and doesn't function the way I would like it to. But this has never been serious enough to even consider other living arrangements. I can still do what I need to do for myself on a daily basis. Sometimes it just takes a little longer. But that is OK. I am in no big rush.
I am thankful for the little apartment that I call home. Now some would question being thankful for a tiny apartment in the middle of a city, especially when I have been known to whine about wishing I could live in the country. But when the truth is known, I am very thankful that I don't need to mow a lawn in the summer or shovel snow in the winter. I have a landlord who lets me paint the walls any color I want to as opposed to the standard apartment white. He thinks my dogs are cute. He fixes things. Right away. When I was unemployed for a time, he worked with me on the rent rather than having me put out on the street as many others would have done. He is a prince among landlords. My apartment is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is home. I like it.
I am thankful that I still pretty much have my mental capacities intact. Alzheimer's disease has been known to occur in my family history. I don't waste time worrying that I will be afflicted with this disease, but it is something to watch for. My own little gauge of memory loss is passwords. I have a number of things on my computer that require passwords. I still remember all of them. When the time comes when I don't, then I will think about worrying. But not until then. Oh, I have the memory loss that is typical of those of my vintage. I will put something away for safekeeping and then have to hunt for it later. I make lists of things I need to remember, like what I need to buy at the grocery store. I write appointments and birthdays on my calendar so I won't forget them. But I really do remember most things. At least those things that are best remembered.
There are so many other things that I am thankful for. I am thankful that my mother taught me to cook and bake bread and sew, for these things give me pleasure. I am thankful that my dad had the patience to teach me how to fix things and use tools. This came in handy not too long ago when I tore apart my sewing machine, put it back together, and it worked again. I am thankful for a loving extended family. Although we don't get to see one another often, just to know that they are there and that they love me as I do them, is enough. I wonder if my brother knows how much it means to me when he says, "I love you, Sister." And I am thankful for the ability, whether learned or inherited, to see the beauty around me even in a city, to be able to enjoy a simple life without the stress and complications that so many live with, and to be in general, a happy and contented person.
For these things, and so much more, I am truly thankful.
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