My daughter took a bus home Sunday night at 9:15 pm from the middle of an area of Hartford that is sketchy at best, missing four classes because a boy she grew up with overdosed on opioids and she couldn’t stop crying. A freezing cold vigil and a funeral and girls gathered in our den trying to make sense of it ensued. There’s no town that’s immune from this kind of horror, anymore. I have not been able to stop thinking of this boy’s family. Of the kind of Thanksgiving it would be for them this year, and for that matter, every year going forward. Their boy will always be missing. Time will lessen the profound sadness, but it will never go away, like the sun popping up every morning, or the waves perpetually kissing the shore.
Yesterday I was with my family for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. I felt a deep gratitude to have all of us healthy and doing well. Life seems precarious these days. In the last two months, there have been some horrible losses in my vicinity. Which doesn’t include the bigger picture of watching California experience the largest fire in the state’s history and all that comes with and several senseless mass shootings (a common and seemingly acceptable occurrence by our government), and more insane and ugly things coming out of our president’s mouth on the daily.
It has become more and more clear to me that perseverating on any good that comes your way is essential to maintaining a sense of balance in the face of all the difficult. Be on high alert for the good stuff. There’s plenty of it. Begin with all that leftover turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes for starters (did someone say mashed potatoes).