On this eve of Thanksgiving 2017, I pause to think of all the things that I am grateful for:
- Three children and five furry babies who are in good health
- A smart, funny, prolific partner who loves me
- A warm, safe roof over our heads
- Food in the cupboard and the refrigerator
- Family & friends who love me, care about me and treasure me
- An inspected 2013 minivan without any warning dashboard lights on
- Health insurance and good dental care that I can still currently afford to pay
- The ability to get out of bed and go to work
- A sharp brain and a quick wit
- Access to books, the Internet (for now), newspapers – and the ability to research and form opinions based on facts
- In all likelihood, I will not wake up any time soon and discover that I, or my family, will be deported or chased from our home
- I will probably never be targeted, assaulted or murdered for my gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression … something that people I love will never be able to say
- No one in my family has died in a hurricane or its piss poor management aftermath, or from escaping an international crisis, or under military crackdown and martial law, or from political dissent. None of them have washed up cold and blue on the shores of a country that they hoped would shelter them.
- No one in my family has been harassed, belittled, spat on, ignored or taunted for the color of their skin or their religion. This is the benefit of privilege, and to deny this is ignorance.
- I am embarrassingly ashamed while still thankful that although I have talked with my children about being careful and respectful with every word when and if they have to interact with the police in the future, in all likelihood, there is little chance they will be harmed if they don’t heed this advice. No disrespect is meant to any one of my friends or family in law enforcement. There is a known truth that families of color worry about police interactions with their children and have conversations about staying alive.
And hey, before you think I’m all doom and gloom, that the daily subversion of our rights and attempts at writing a “new normal” by the current administration and Republican led Senate and House have caused me to lose all joy in my life, fear not. I am thankful for chocolate and wine and the perfect dirty joke. I am grateful for sex, no matter how sporadic it may be, and the remembrance of every first and last kiss. I’m thankful I’ve made it 45 years, that I had my mom as long as I did, and in a note of pride, this year my first Amazon bestselling poetry collection was released from Nixes Mate Books. I could rattle through hundreds of other truths, but I’ll spare you. As we enter this holiday season, one with more unease and stress than many of us have had in a long time, I hope that you can recognize all that you have, my loves. And how little so many others do.