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thu posted: Thu 2017-11-16 12:10:55 tags: n/a
As Thanksgiving approaches, I was thinking about what I'm thankful for this year. A lot happened this year: Mom passed away, figuring out how to properly distribute her estate without having to involve Dad, new car, Irma evacuation, awesome PDX vaycay, agreement to pursue the long-awaited RDU plan. Something a bit more subtle has been happening all year, too: a process of Miss Cupcake and I integrating our lives. Not always smoothly, but from a mutual foundation of good faith. We've both done some fine inner work toward that end. I'm thankful for her in my life.

The modest inheritance from Mom pushed back my financial worries, but that's rather cold consolation. Nonetheless I feel like my cup runneth over with what she left me. Some people would scoff and say I need a bigger cup, but I remember all too well what it's like to be stuck with a broken and empty cup. So once I had a newer more reliable car of my own, it felt good to be able to give the Lancer to Cupcake Junior, basically for what it cost me to get it up-to-date on maintenance and some minor repairs (brake pads, valve cover gasket, A/C blower resistor). And as I saw him off that day, I had a horrible nagging what-if feeling in my chest, so I'm super thankful that he got home without mishap.

Mom and I had a warm but distant relationship. Her passing was harder on my sisters but I was not unaffected. Thinking about her, I tried to review other misfortunes or sad events. For a moment I thought maybe it was just this year that it was revealed Dad's predations were not limited to Mom, but then I remembered I discussed that new wrinkle with my therapist last year. Deep down I wanted to believe that maybe it was a mistake, maybe the uncertain reports pointed to Gramps or someone else, not Dad. But from conversations in Miami and surrounding the funeral, there's just too much related witness this year to think last year's revelation was misplaced.

There's an old chestnut, often trotted out at eulogies, about people who were more inclined to light a candle than curse the darkness. The Scripture tells us to "give thanks in all things", but it does not demand that we give thanks FOR all things. I am not thankful that my father's darkness shadowed my mother's life, my sister's lives, and by extension my life. But I can be thankful that we could corroborate each others' experience and reinforce the processes of healing. I can be thankful that Mom died at 75 of lung disease instead of at 50 in alcoholic despair or at 40 at my father's hands.