Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted. ~ Albert Einstein
This will be a different Thanksgiving. I’m still stocking up on butter, cream and sugar to make my family’s favorite treats (creamed onions, mashed potatoes & squash with lots of butter, cranberry-pineapple compote and of course pies!) but I have been searching for dairy-free pumpkin custard, and raw macaroon recipes to make a dessert or two for myself that won’t disrupt my progress healing from Lyme disease. The diet of no – no sugar, no dairy, no gluten & no alcohol. (Actually, it is better than it sounds since it is helping me back to health!) “Yeasties” are a terrible thing when you are taking heaps of antibiotics so suffice it to say, I have a healthy fear of sugar in particular, though I am considering indulging in some dairy and gluten (I love stuffing!).
It has been a year. But as I approach turning 50 next spring, I have come to realize that life doesn’t create a neat queue and hand us just one challenge at at time. So healing from Lyme coincided with helping a dear friend on her final path with cancer, adjusting to a merger at work while facing a second merger and doing our best to help our parents navigate the various challenges of aging. Real life.
Never-the-less, I am feeling particularly grateful and feel compelled to put my thankfulness out there into the universe; so here we go.
- I am so grateful to be feeling “human” again and feeling confident that I will beat Lyme disease. For a while I was seriously wondering whether I would be among the 20% of people who don’t fully recover.
- I am so grateful to Dr. Steve, my ND who realized that my initial Lyme treatment had failed, catching it relatively early before I fell into total chaos with my health. Glimpsing the deep end of the pool with Lyme is terrifying and I’m soooo relieved that I was able to avoid that.
- I am thankful for my husband who always stands by me. He has been cooking me healthy dinners, packs left-overs for my lunch and often cooks up my week’s supply of quinoa that I use to make my breakfast. This has made it possible for me to continue to work full-time and hold onto my job through this period of illness. (A critical thing here in the U.S. since my health insurance comes from my job.)
- I am delighted that my canine companion and long-time hiking buddy, Rosie, is still in good health. She will be 13 years old in December and it feels like a miracle that she is still here with us and still able to do short hikes. (The average life-span for a Labrador Retriever is 10-12 years so we are into bonus territory!)
- The biggest miracle of all is my 77 year-old father; that he is here with us for Thanksgiving in body, mind and spirit; that he is still walking every day, mowing his own lawn and snow blowing his driveway is amazing. His strong spirit and love for my mother has carried him through a bout with cancer (he is in remission), 37 years of serious diabetes and now dementia over the past couple of years. He forgets lots of small things but he never forgets that he love us and is generous in saying it out loud. (Yes, I know this is an incredible blessing.)
- And of course I am grateful to my Mom for all the care and love she gives to my Dad. Without her it is highly quite possible that Dad would no longer be with us. She has pulled him out of countless sugar lows, drives him back and forth to all his cancer/medical treatments, nursed him through the sickness from radiation and chemotherapy and does her best to be patient with his forgetfulness which might be the hardest thing for the both of them of all. (As a Lymie have a bit of glimpse into what it feels like to not be able to count on one’s brain.) Thanks Mom!
- And lastly, I am so happy to see both of my children managing to do well for themselves, especially in this challenging economy. My daughter has accepted a position with a major insurance company which will start after she finishes her business degree this spring. She has worked so hard to get good grades all while working 20-40 hours a week and it warms my heart to see her hard work recognized. (And YEAH, she can pay her student loans!) And, our son is just finishing up his first year in an apprenticeship program in machining at the local naval shipyard where he is learning some great skills and is working on wedding plans to marry his love.
So, as we prepare to celebrate my favorite holiday (have I mentioned I love great food and being with my family?), I am keenly aware that I have so much to be thankful for and just need to say it out loud.