Thursday, November 26, 2020

Giving Thanks

 I'll try not to be glib...though (I suppose) my capacity for "glibness" these days is much diminished.

Mm. Staring out the window, wondering what words to use to type my feelings of the moment, I find myself at a loss. I'll try, though.

Today is Thanksgiving here in the United States...probably my favorite holiday of the year for many, many reasons. And I am so thankful, so so thankful, for so many selfish reasons. Thankful for my family and all they give me. Thankful we can afford to eat, unlike so many people in this country right now. Thankful of life has been spared of Covid tragedy. No small thing.

Mexico is in bad shape at the moment. Only the United States, Brazil, and India have had more recorded deaths. But India's population (1.3 billion) means its overall death rate per capita is one-eighth the rate of these other "top" countries and Brazil's governmental response has been not just indifferent but downright nihilistic.

[I don't think I need to mention the issues in the United States when a large percentage of the population refuses to believe in reality]

But Mexico is in a bad, bad way with death rates per capita equal to (or exceeding) Brazil. And it's government is trying to get a handle on things and just doesn't have the capacity to do so. And for many Mexicans "trust in one's government" is an alien concept after generations of corruption and exploitation at that government's hands.

Why do I care about Mexico? Other than the fact that it has many and huge interconnections with its neighbor to the north (i.e. the United States) and its tragedies will have a dramatic impact on my country both socially and economically? Well, mainly because my wife is from Mexico and the entirety of her blood relations continue to live there along with most everyone she grew up with. It is the home of half (well more than half) my children's relatives. It is a country I've grown to know and love and respect over the last 22 years...a country whose people and history and culture and traditions are far deeper and richer than most Americans give them credit for. 

There are a lot of people dying there right now. My wife has already lost friends to the virus. It is only a matter of time before she...we...start lost family to it. 

Today, I am thankful that hasn't yet happened. I know that there are many, many people who wish they could say the same. I realize that I have been fortunate and that my luck will probably run out before this pandemic has finished running its course, but today...on this Thanksgiving...I can be truly sincere in giving thanks for the blessings I've had till now. 

If you're one of the folks reading this post...well, it means you still have life left in your body. But for some of you...some of you who have been touched by tragedy in this last year...that may feel like no great thing worth celebrating. The Thanksgiving holiday may even feel like a slap in the face: being told to feast and celebrate when jobs and incomes are lost and when loved ones lie ill...or dead. I am sorry, truly sorry. I feel bad...I feel bad that I cannot share and shoulder more of your pain. Not because I want to one wants to suffer...but because I want to ease the stress and burden you feel. 

I feel guilty for being thankful for the blessings I have.

Maybe I should be glib...maybe I should try to be light-hearted. But I'm just not feeling it at the moment. It's 10am, Seattle time, and the family should be waking up soon. Today will be a busy day at my house, so I probably won't have more time to write that silly, light-hearted post my readers so richly deserve. And I apologize for that. I'll try to do better in days to come.

Please know that I am thankful for all of you who are reading this. Without people reading, I probably (probably) wouldn't have carried on as long as I have. And I am praying for you...for all of you...and for the world as well. For your health and your safety and your sanity and for that of the people whose lives you touch and that touch yours. I hope and pray that all of us can find blessings in our lives for which we can be thankful (selfishly or not). 

My love to you all.


  1. Thank you for this post. Its rough right now. I'm a nurse, and we are having a covid surge in my city. Thank you for your prayers.

  2. Hopes and prayers to you too, one stranger to another. One day we will be out of this mess and I can be thankful for that.

  3. I've been following the news and statistics, but didn't realize that Mexico was struggling so badly. I'm not religious at all, but your sentiment rings home regardless. I'm also thankful, concerned, sometimes scared, often angry, and in quiet moments hopeful. This emotional and existential way of life will continue for some time... thanks for continuing to post... I'll keep reading

  4. It was good to read this on a Monday morning. Your sincerity and openness is one reason I've been reading your blog for so long.

    1. Thanks Michael. That’s very kind of you to say. I appreciate it, truly.