Lots to be thankful for – even scars
Someone once forwarded me an email called "You got scars?"
It was about a little boy who had been attacked by an alligator and survived. When he was being interviewed by a reporter, he talked about the attack, and acknowledged the scars caused by the alligator.
Then, with animation, he told the reporter about his other scars.
The little boy was proud of his scars, especially the ones caused because his mother refused to give in and let go of her baby boy.
The email goes on to say something like, "You got scars?"
I try to think of that message when the aftermath of the Hurricane Ivan begins to overwhelm me, when I grow weary of the muddy mess that once was our yard and tired of the disruption of construction.
I've found that you don't have to go far away or stay for very long to be shocked when you come home and see our hurricane damage with fresh eyes. Piles of debris, homes that look barren without the familiar, ancient trees, and the eternal blue tarps are constant reminders that we are not finished with storm recovery, and won't be for a very long time.
The phrase haunts me, a constant reminder that while we do have scars, our lives were spared. We were left here, saved from the storm's wrath for a reason. It helps to shift the paradigm, to acknowledge the scars as trophies, as evidence that Someone saved us or spared us, for reasons we don't yet know.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.
I like it because it is simple, unpretentious; it's about being thankful for what we have rather than focusing on what we might get.
I think the holiday will be more poignant this year, especially if we consider it in the context of the first hours and days after Ivan passed, when we were happy to be alive and much less concerned about our material possessions or the lack thereof.
Yes, thank God, we do. Let's not forget how fortunate we are to have them.