So thankful to be, well, alive. (Day 329)

On this Thanksgiving eve, after a busy day of mothering and working and socializing and golfing and eating and hours and hours of cooking, I am sitting in my cozy living room thinking:

I am just so thankful to be alive. 

This is not because I've had a year of death or near death. It is not because I feel my very life is particularly at risk. It is less about being alive and more about experiencing what it is to be alive. All of this life--the busy, the boredom, the stress, the highest highs and the lowest lows--I am just so freaking grateful for it all. 

Life is salt and pepper, friends. You cannot separate the bad from the good or the good from the bad. It is all jumbled up and in that jumble, it often seems at first glance that things are black and white, clearly good or bad. That is absolutely a lie our eyes tell us--the truth of life is mixed up and codependent--the good and the bad mixed in a way that cannot ever be reversed, no matter how hard we try. 

I hate the horrible things that have happened--don't ever mistake that. And it is not a little bit of hate I feel towards childhood cancer and preeclampsia and early deaths. It is a bigger hate than you could ever imagine. But my hate changes nothing. It's there; I cannot remove it from the mix. But adjacent to hate, is joy. Joy that I got to be a sister. Joy that I've been able to witness the miraculous healing of my preemies. Joy that I've witnessed my incredible first born rise up over and over again. If I dismiss the hate and the horror, I throw away the joy. 

And I wouldn't ever do that--it would be like burning the book that is the story of my life. 

I am so grateful for it all--for this big, messy, terrifying life. I know not everyone gets the life I've had--and the future I pray I have. I know my brother's life story ended, too soon. I am so grateful for him. I know this is borrowed time for us all and I am just so thankful I get to borrow so much of it. 

I am so grateful for each of you, too, even you, who I love and who will never see this blog. I get to know you--I get to walk with you. I get to experience the salt and pepper in your life too--the vibrant, complicated, hard, truth of it all. The joy adjacent to the non-joy. 

No matter what has happened before, I am grateful for today. No matter what tomorrow brings, I am grateful for today.