What Thanksgiving Means to Me – The Global Pandemic Edition

It feels weird to be writing one of these right now. Let me say that upfront. With all that’s been going on around me–pandemics and politics, death and division–I’ve been… Not dealing with Writer’s Block. I can write. But dealing with a wide range of opinions for the first time in a long time, many of which I am leery of “putting out there” to my not-so-vast Social Mediaverse and limited, ENDWORLD audience. Why? Why not? Confrontation is not my strong suit, nor is it something I welcome. I aspire to get along with everyone and will continue to do so, ever onward. So if you want to know my take on something, drop me a DM, or give me a ring. Happy to chat. End disclaimer.

That’s where I find myself this pleasant, Thanksgiving Eve in The Year 2020 of the Lord, as I compose this from the confines of the house I’ve spent SO MUCH of the year in. I wonder how long we’ll all suffer PTSD every time someone says or writes 2020? Jumped up Jesus on a pogo stick what a year. History is going to look back on this as the year of the Great Pause when the norm we, the people (I love me some Thomas Jefferson, along with some Daveed Digs) shifted overnight and we became, for all intent and purposes a digital society. I can’t say whether that’s good or bad, but I do understand that it is necessary and our “new norm.” Just like PPE and social distancing. Hopefully sometime in the near future we can all gather, safely together somewhere, get rip-roaring blitzed and hug it out. Maybe shed a few tears.

It’s difficult to be thankful friends, and even a few foes. I know. 2020 for many has been as thankless a year as they’ve ever experienced. To everyone that is suffering financially, physically, emotionally or ideologically, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I’ve had my share this year, as well. Not on the level that many have and are experiencing and for that, I am sorry. But even in the darkest of times, happiness can be found if one only remembers to turn on the light. Albus Dumbledore, noted wizard and fictional character, central to the Harry Potter universe said that. And it rings true as Thanksgiving Eve seques into Thanksgiving Day, and I prepare to retire for the night. I’ll pick this up first thing, tomorrow AM. Goodnight all. Sweet dreams.

AND we’re back. Or at least I am. Happy Thanksgiving all! I find myself in my customary position on Turkey Day morning, sitting on my couch, flipping between the Macy’s and 6ABC “parades” with a Sugar Free Monster in one hand and my phone, open to my WordPress ap in the other. I don’t know that they qualify as parades this year (hence the quotes), but I give mad props to the organizers for splicing together consistent events that reflect the dumpster fire, inside a speeding train going off the tracks that HAS BEEN 2020.

As I sit here, I find myself reading back over what I wrote last night, and contemplating, in a seemingly thankless year the things that I AM thankful for. That light that I referenced in the late hours of the night/wee hours of the morning remains. And I realize that against the backdrop of incalculable odds that we, the people have faced on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence this year, we are showing our meddle. Our resiliance. Despite the division that radiates from every protest or Twitter feed, we have in many ways come together, and not reluctantly. Innovation, adaptation… These are two, additional buzzwords we can add to our 2020 list along with the aforementioned PPE and social distancing. And I am grateful for that. We’ve got a long way to go, but if 2020 has shown us anything, it has shown us that we can evolve. Our voices can be heard. Loudly! If we can build upon that… Build upon focusing on our similarities and not our differences, I think we’ll go far. What can I say? I remain an optimist, hopeful that in the days, weeks and months ahead we can unite. Black, Brown or White… Republican or Democrat… Progressive or Conservative, there has been and will always remain a place, right next to me on my couch or via a Zoom call for anyone that wants to join me. I welcome you.

As for other things that I am thankful for? We’ll, there are the obvious ones. My kiddos of course. My minions. Part of that light, even in the darkest of times has been the opportunity to spend more time with them. An extension of this is my job. I am thankful for it because its own adaptability, and ability to adjust on the fly from brick and mortar to virtual has saved me from concerns about childcare, exposure to COVID et al. Added to that is the fact that they took a chance on me, two weeks into a global pandemic, and allowed me to stay and be a part of their solution. Never before have I worked for a company that cares as much as they do. I am blessed.

I am thankful for my family, friends and loved ones, as I am every year for their constant support. I am grateful for Destiny 2 (the game), which has given me yet another way to connect, remotely with old friends and new ones. I am grateful for my God-given ability to write. I could go on and on but my assumption is that you get the point. Yes, it has been a rough year. Yes, 2020 will go down in history as one of the most bass-akward years in history, a year in which we lost Sean Connery and Alex Trebek within days of each other, an eventuality made uber poignant only by a well-remebered and revered SNL skit.

But there IS a light, folks. The Universe is tasking us as it’s inhabitants to dig deeper, and see the good despite all the bad. 260K+ Americans taken before their time by an unprecedented and historic pandemic, and millions more worldwide. Too many empty chairs at empty tables this Thanksgiving. It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes as I sit here, typing these words. Millions upon millions unemployed and waiting for hours in food lines across the country and the world. But if we give into desperation… If we stop relying on our better angels to get us through this the hits will just keep on coming, well into 2021 and beyond.

So? My prayer… My wish for you this Thanksgiving is simple. Turn on the light. Find good within the bad. Find similarities with those you’ve always considered different. In the end, and at our core we are all the same. Humanity. Diverse. Black, Brown or White… Republican or Democrat… Progressive or Conservative. ALL of us created equal. Now. And forevermore. God, I really do love me some Jefferson. And Digs. Quick addendum: I am incredibly thankful for Lin Manuel Miranda and “Hamilton.” I’m even singing “What Did I Miss?” In my head right now. End parenthetical aside.

Happy Thanksgiving to my not-so-vast Social Mediaverse and limited, ENDWORLD audience. God bless.

F.

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