The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Entry

This comes from Angela, in the Tranquility Taverna Journal:

November 24, 2005

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the United States and
I’m enjoying a few hours of solitude while my husband
works and our daughters visit their grandmother. I
try to carry a spirit of thankfulness with me
throughout the year because there’s always something
to appreciate.

My home has solid floors, a roof that doesn’t leak and
walls that really do keep out the weather. This home
is equipped with central air and heat so it’s cool on
hot days and warm on cold days. My childhood home
exists only in my memories and old photographs but I
can’t forget using a sleeping bag all winter just to
stay warm at night or walking around the 2x4 support
braces Mother put in to hold the ceiling up in the
living room. I remember taking the fastest showers
possible because I was afraid the bathtub I stood in
would fall through the floor like the other one had
done. I remember finding icicles on the inside of our
windows and listening to the rain drip in buckets and
bowls throughout the house. I think of all these
things and remember the millions of people around the
world who lost everything to natural and manmade
disasters this year and give thanks for the blessing
of a home.

According to the government, my family and I live
below the poverty line. We’re some of the lucky ones
because we have food, clean drinking water, and a few
luxuries. My daughters don’t know what it’s like to
wait for the bus with hands tucked in the sleeves of a
threadbare sweatshirt because there’s no money for a
jacket and none of the ragged hand-me-downs fit. They
don’t know what it’s like to wake up hungry only to
hear their mother say there’s no money for food so
crackers and water will have to do for the next day or
two. I know those feelings but I’m thankful I don’t
know the agony of watching my child shiver in the cold
or listening to my children complain they’re hungry.

On this Thanksgiving, I pause to think about the
freedoms I enjoy and to give thanks for those who paid
for my freedoms with blood, sweat, tears and time. I
give thanks for the health I enjoy. I can get out of
bed without assistance and I go about my day without
much thought. Hundreds of thousands of people here in
America can’t do that. There are wounded heroes who
may never stand again, brave men and women adjusting
to life with artificial limbs and others who simply
don’t have the strength to get out of bed. I’m not as
fit as I want to be but I can do something about that
and I have it better than a lot of people.

I give thanks for the friends, both offline and
online, who offer support and encouragement as I make
changes in my life and follow a dream. It’s been a
winding road but every time my courage fails, one of
my friends is there to help. I’m thankful for the
life lessons I’ve learned from my extended family and
for the ability to continue learning.


"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" ~ Theodore
Roosevelt

2 Comments:

  • that puts things in great perspective ...

    its nice to have your health and friends ...

    edmund davis

    By Blogger No Filter: The Book, at 3:33 PM, November 28, 2005  

  • Angela, your entry puts a solid period on my overwrought day. Thank you for listing the blessings in your life, while also revealing the heart-wrenching things of your past. That you've lifted yourself from such poverty and that you've put an end to the cycle is worth a Pulitizer in my book. May blessings fall like rain on you and your family.

    By Blogger Ovation Leader, at 2:46 AM, November 30, 2005  

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