Someone told me long ago, there’s a calm before the storm. I know, it’s been coming for some time. When it’s over so they say, it will rain a sunny day. I know shining down like water.
These are the lyrics my dad used to sing to my brother and I. They were the lyrics to one of his favorite Creedence Clearwater songs. My brother and I not only heard the song repeatedly growing up, but my dad recited the words to us as he offered his words of wisdom. He taught us to always keep our guard up and be prepared for any storm or challenge that may come our way. I can honestly say, I have taken those words of wisdom to heart and lived life with my guard up always prepared for the worse. However, as I listened to the song today, the lyrics actually gave me hope. We all go through challenges in life and like the song we find ourselves in a challenge where the sun is cold and the rain is hard but when the challenge is over, that’s when the real storm begins. Our days are filled with storms of sunshine raining down upon us and shining down like water.
Today is Thanksgiving. A day we should spend giving thanks for all of our blessings both good and bad and a day to be spent with family. A challenge free day filled with happiness and love, not to mention gratefulness. In a perfect world this day should be a celebration of everything good in our life. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Some are facing tragedy in their life or fighting a life threatening disease or the loss of a loved one. Some are alone with no family or worse some are spending thanksgiving homeless living on the street, hungry with nothing to eat.
I walked to the ferry building yesterday to buy some things at the gluten free market. As I walked on the sidewalk I was sad to see so many tents along with grocery carts filled with the only belongings people had left as they found themselves making their home on the street. I saw a young family with 2 young children holding up a sign that read “lost our home in a fire, anything helps”. My heart sank thinking of their 2 young daughters who couldn’t have been more than 10 years old. When I got home I saw a post from one of my girlfriends who was sad because she was spending thanksgiving alone without her children. My heart went out to her since I too am spending thanksgiving without my children. However, what she failed to recognize were the many things she had to be grateful for. She was at the airport flying home to be with family or friends. I’m flying home myself on December 17th to spend time with my family. Now that’s something to be thankful for. I’ll bet that family who lost their home in a fire would give anything to be on a flight to anywhere opposed to where they are now.
I was diagnosed with cancer last April. Since my diagnosis, I’ve experienced many challenges, but at the same time I’ve experienced so many blessings also. I have so many friends at home who have been my source of strength and inspiration. I’ve also had the privilege of experiencing new people who have come into my life and have certainly opened my eyes to the blessings I do have. Last night I heard from the airline pilot I met in Maui last August. He emailed to wish me a happy thanksgiving and wanted me to know he has continued to pray for me. I was so touched and surprised to hear from him. I heard from an ex boyfriend I dated in my 20’s reaching out to let me know he was praying for me. Who would’ve thought?! I heard from a woman who was introduced to me by a friend of Ali, the minister I met on the elevator, she was reaching out to let me know she’s still praying. I heard from my new friend Kailani the minister I met in Maui and I heard from Ali. He wished me a happy thanksgiving and an encouraging YouTube video of the late, great Whitney Houston reminding me “Hope Is On Its Way”. I have received so many happy wishes from so many friends and if that wasn’t enough, I’ve heard from all 3 of my kids! I can’t begin to tell you how touched and grateful I have felt.
Today I may not have reached the storm where my days are filled with sunshine raining down like water but I have faith that hope is on its way. I also have so many things to be thankful for. I have 3 wonderful children who I love with all of my heart, a brother who drives me crazy but I love him and I may not have my dad anymore but I have my mother. Thank goodness. My mother, more often than not, drives me crazy. She’s loud, opinionated & obnoxious but I’m so grateful to call her my mother. She’s blessed me with a kind, loving and compassionate heart. An attribute she learned from her own mother. My grandmother was truly one great lady who raised 2 boys and 3 women I call my aunts. Like their own mother, my aunts have raised great children who I call my cousins. My cousins have been so thoughtful and loving throughout this journey and not only have reached out to me often but have continued to pray for me. Who could ask for anything more. I realized that when we lose a person we love, we have to continue to be grateful for those who are still living. Today I’m grateful for my mother!!!
I ran downstairs to Safeway this morning to pick up a few things. There was a homeless man with his dog on the sidewalk. He had a sign that said “happy thanksgiving and thank you for your blessings”. Ouch! I felt so guilty knowing I was preparing a 16 pound turkey for Ron and I to enjoy this afternoon along with all the fixings that go along with a thanksgiving feast. More than enough for 2 people. I stopped by the deli and bought this man a hot thanksgiving meal. My way of letting him know I care. I can’t change his circumstances but what I can do is lend a helping hand. Especially on thanksgiving. He was so grateful when I handed him a hot thanksgiving meal.
I know there are people who might read my blog today whose situation seems bleak and might find it difficult to find anything to feel grateful about but there’s hope. Just for today be grateful for another day of living and who could sing it better than Whitney Houston? “Hope is on its way” and like the song by Creedence Clearwater, soon your storm will be over and the new storm will begin. The storm of sunshine will be raining down like water. My hope for you and me is that day will be sooner than later. Until then stay grateful and Happy Thanksgiving! And here’s to Olga….my Spanish mother with the Russian name!!! A mother and nana to be grateful for. Love you mother!!!!