Monday, October 10, 2011


Today, north of the border, it's Thanksgiving Day.

I honestly didn't understand what this holiday was about when I was a kid. As a teenager I understood the basic concept of giving thanks, and would do my best to think thankful thoughts, and that was about it.'

I totally get this holiday now. All of us living in this day and age are so lucky, it's not even funny.

Like we are really, really, really fortunate.

Like really, really, really fortunate.

But I'm amazed at how oblivious most of us are to our great fortunes. I'm also baffled at how completely and utterly lacking our secular culture is when it comes to having customs of thanks and gratitude.  I know some of us pray and meditate thoughts like these, but most of us don't.

Even at our Thanksgiving Dinner last night here at the Canuck Place hospice, no one was even looking for a queue to give thanks like they would have 2 or 3 generations earlier. We all dug into our meals without sharing as a group (or at least acknowledging) how significant the meal was. The room ate it quickly. People left quickly. And there didn't seem to be much afterthought.

The irony is that, despite our fortunes, the levels of loneliness and depression seem to be increasing in our society. Go figure!  We all have so much, and instead of being grateful for what we have, and wanting what we have, we want more and more other things, and are left feeling empty.

Maybe it's because the tradition of "communion" (in the general sense of the word) is completely lacking amongst people today:

Why is this? It doesn't really make sense, does it?

So, here's my public vow ...  To boldly take a few seconds during the feast-like meals I share with company to stop and share a few things I'm thankful for. Yeah, I know, it'll create some awkwardness, but I just think we have so much to be thankful for, that pausing for a moment to simply state a few of them (that's all, just a simple acknowledgement) will help remind me and my family and those I feast with just how lucky and fortunate we all are.

I think it's worth it.


  1. I couldn't agree more, Regan! We have so much to be thankful for. It's so important to recognize this and it's especially important to model for our children. One day they will appreciate it!

  2. Indeed! Thanks for commenting Julie!

  3. When you approach life with a grateful heart, you see things in a different light. I think it lends a little more love to the situations we find ourselves in.
    I for one am grateful for your blog!

  4. A mutual acquaintance of ours shared your blog with me a little while ago - I couldn't stop reading and am now a subscriber.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us - while ours is a different situation, my son spent 23 days in a Level 3 NICU, and 5 days in a Level 2. We almost lost him in utero, at a few hours old and again at 2 days old. I too have a whole new vocabulary I never wanted - oscillator, ventilator, high-low flow, by-blow, you name it, we've done it.

    We were on pins and needles for weeks; I still haven't 'dealt' with it, but I wanted to let you know reading your blog helps me process it better. Gabrielle is such an inspiration, and your support of her, your family and each other is a blessing as such I've never seen.

    I thank you.

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