Happy Thanksgiving! In some ways, I feel like announcing what you’re thankful for today is like telling people that you love them only because it’s February 14. We should be thinking about what we’re grateful for on a daily basis. It’s a good exercise, and it tends to tone down the general frustration of your average, say, Tuesday, when you spill a bottle of water all over the floor, or you’re late getting out the door and your daughter learns the word fuck, or you realize that your pants are on backward. I mean you, not me. None of that stuff ever happened to me this week.

I know I’ve mentioned being grateful on this blog before. I’ve written about some of the specific people for whom I am thankful, and I’ve told them to their faces that they make my life better. Then after they told me I was freaking them out, I backed up a few inches and said it in a calmer voice. So, you know, they know how I feel.

But just in case they forgot, I am so thankful for my incredible family. My San Francisco family: Rob, Scarlett, Liz, Rob and Jack. My extended family (including the one I married into), spread all across the country, but kept close via social media and the fact that we know too much about each other. My dear friends, who lift my spirits in a million ways, be it an actual visit or simply a kind comment on the blog. I’m grateful to love and to feel loved.

I’m indebted to my ALS family, as well. Of course, if any of you could gracefully extricate yourselves from the clutches of this disease and go on with your life, you’d find me applauding the loudest. But here we are, and there are some really wonderful, smart, motivational people in this group. The Moms with ALS who I go to with my questions and my venting, the Faces of ALS on this website, the Young Faces of ALS who have allowed me into their fold even though I’m older than all of them, and the myriad people who have reached out to share their ALS stories with me. Thank you. I suspect I don’t have to tell you what a difference this makes. You already know. I’m grateful to know that I’m not alone in this struggle.

I feel so lucky when I consider the adventures I’ve been able to have in my life. For some reason, the one that keeps coming to mind is a night on the Thai island of Ko Phi Phi that started off with sand buckets full of coke, red bull and vodka and ended with a group of 40 strangers jumping up and down on the beach and singing Midnight Oil’s Beds are Burning at the top of our lungs. I’m grateful that I have traveled and been joyful. I’m grateful that after the disgusting drink I just described, I could still find the balance to dance and the memory for song lyrics. I’m very seriously grateful that I was off the island when, three weeks later, it was destroyed by a tsunami.

Will it sound weird that I’m thankful for my health? I’ve had ALS for more than three years, and although I’ve detailed the difficulties on this blog, my life is far from over. I’m grateful that there are things every day that I look forward to, and things that make me feel excited, even when those things are wine.

I am so filled with gratitude that it’s nauseating. Pretty soon, I’ll be filled with turkey and pumpkin pie, and that will probably also turn gross. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Enjoy the food, the football, the family. At our house, Rob is cooking the entire meal, and guess what? I’m grateful for that, too.

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3 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Robyn Reed

    Happy Thanksgiving Sarah! A perfect entry to honor this day and remember that everyday holds blessings. Wishing you a wonderful day with your family and many more! I’m thankful I get to be apart of speed4sarah tomorrow night at your benefit. And not to stress, my kids know all sorts of colorful words that I can’t imagine where they learned them :)

  2. Catherine Kay

    I am grateful for you and every day that you have been a part of my life—some incidents that make me laugh (you probably wouldn’t) and some that make me feel warm all over. Recently you’ve been an inspiration to me. I love you. N

  3. Andrea Spira

    Thank you for posting your life’s experiences and sharing them with us. All of us in our family are deeply touched by your stories and hope you continue to post.

    Andrea Spira

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