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(It’s Leland)

This is a nice holiday, though not one that cracks my top 5 (Flag Day, Chanukah, Purim, Halloween and Arbor Day, not in that order).  But, I do love the Peanuts cartoon and have a soft-spot for cranberry relish.  There is something nice about a holiday that, at its core, is based on a moment where people paused to focus on what they were thankful for.

In the Pilgrims’ case, they were probably thankful that the locals took pity on them and gave them food to eat. Little did the Native Americans realize that their generosity would later be repaid with a wholesale dislocation, but that’s not my point.  Little known fact, when one of the last great Native American forced migrations to the reservations began – also known as the Trail of Tears -, it started in Sandusky, Ohio.  To commemorate this rather sad moment in U.S. History, they built an amusement park on the site, Cedar Point.

Now that things have quieted down a bit, I find that I’m thankful for a few more things these days:

  • I’m thankful that I have a brave wife with an incredibly high threshold for pain and discomfort.  I’m an incredible wuss and couldn’t have put up with half of what she endured physically and emotionally.
  • I’m thankful that she had two incredibly talented and conscientious doctors who did nice work (very nice work!)
  • I’m thankful for my parents and mother-in-law who all made a difficult period (made more difficult by us being forced from our home) manageable.
  • I’m thankful for a wonderful group of friends and family, locally, nationally and internationally, who (without being at all intrusive) found ways to help and share their concerns.  By the way, all of the food items that people provided were incredibly tasty and very welcome during the first two weeks.  Though, one friend needed to bring more cookies and Romesco sauce (you know who you are!)
  • I’m thankful that my kids were old enough to know something important was going on, but young enough that they continued to live their lives without any obvious disruption.

But, mostly I’m thankful for the time that Lynne and I had to evaluate all the information, opinions and options we gathered over the past 8 years so that we could reach this point not in a panic, but with a great degree of certainty.  And that means (with as much confidence as one can have about anything) I can look forward to many years of Thanksgivings with Lynne without fear that “something” may happen.

And for that, I am most thankful.