Thanksgiving always carries a bit of weight to it for me. It is a time to reflect and look back on life and see the things and people that have made my life what it is and have brought me to where I am. It also reminds me that I am entering the most depressing time of the year. They say that most of the suicides occur at the holidays. I wonder how much of that is holiday depression and how much is a seasonal thing bought about by the dark evenings and the cold weather driving people into the solitude of their homes. Driving them to the company of game consoles and television programs and the feigned reality of “reality tv”.

Quickly fading are the smells of turkey and pumpkin pies. The taste of apple cider fades and the air. They are replaced with the smell and taste of dry artificial air from furnaces and space heaters. Warm sunlight is replaced with bright light from bulbs. The sounds of songbirds in the morning breeze and evening walks are replaced with the silence of cold winter mornings full of frosted lawns and evenings of sitting bundles on couches. Fresh fruits and vegetables become harder to find and meals become heavy with cream soups and hearty stews. The body succumbs to the evolutionary call to add on a few extra pounds to survive the winter.

We move from playing in the park like children and settle in to watch others play on the television or from the stands.

Forgotten are the friends and family we say we are thankful for. Forgotten are good times spent with them. The season just seems to remind us of their absence in our lives. Our spirits turn from the sheer joy of a smile and turn to wonder of what we will receive  under a tree. Hectic party planning and running to meet year end deadlines steal the moment from us. They steal the thankfulness from us and replace it with a bitterness and an anger.

I always miss my sister this time of year. Her birthday falls in the middle of the holidays. I am reminded of her passing when I think she would have been X years old this year. My mind then turns to she will have been gone X years this February. It doesn’t help that January 5 brings another birthday.

But this year in the midst of all of this I can find myself thankful that I have met you. You have brightened my life in ways I cannot explain. You give me something to smile about and something to cherish. Your excitement at the simple act of putting up a tree, buying a pair of slippers or the pleasure you get from eating deviled eggs for thanksgiving.

You mean the world to me. You will always have a special place in my life for all of the things that we have been through this year. I have allowed myself to open parts of my heart that I swore that I would never open again. I know I have been so hurtful and confusing at times. I have tried to push you away and you haven’t let me. You have continued to call me friend. You have been stronger than I could have been. For that I am thankful.