With my favorite holiday of the year just a few days away, I am already thinking about this day and what it means to me. This way when we sit down to dinner and start to share all of the things for which we are most thankful, not only will I be sharing my list but also doing so in the context of all things that mean the most to me for this holiday.
“So, this Thanksgiving, I start my list of things for which I am most grateful in my life which always begins with Almighty God and my wonderful husband, it includes the most extraordinary women that I have met during this past year who are dealing with breast cancer under some most difficult circumstances. “Barbara Jacoby
I am not sure exactly when and how we develop gratitude and appreciation for our lives and those with whom we share it but I do realize we are not all alike in this arena. I do believe that it was something that I learned from my parents. I remember that even the year when I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time, even though it was just 4 months before the holidays, I was still grateful that it had been found and removed and that I was fortunate enough to have great treatment. Even the following year after being diagnosed a second time and going through surgery and reconstruction, etc., I was so grateful for my life and being able to move forward with the treatments available to me. But, recently I started thinking about those who are in the throes of treatment right now who may be dealing with sickness and pain and other hardships at this time of the year.
I can’t speak for any person who finds herself in this position during the holidays. I can only imagine that if I were in pain and sick from my treatments, I am sure that I would be very sad that I could not enjoy this time of the year as I have in the past but I could never presume to know what the reality of such a situation would be like. However, as I know more than a few women who have found themselves in this position at the holidays, I would like to share what I have found with you.
It seems that regardless of whether a person is a breast cancer survivor or not, if a person knows gratitude, she will always find things for which she is grateful regardless of the circumstances in which she finds herself. No matter the tough circumstances that she may be experiencing at the moment, she will do her best to make things nice for others and not focus on her own situation. Even if she can’t do all the things that she would like, she will do her very best and be so very happy that she has been allowed to share another holiday season with those who mean so very much to her. You will find her with a smile on her face as she shares her feelings of hope and happiness for the future. She will focus on ways to plan and prepare for future good times with family and friends as soon as she is feeling better.
Yes, the human spirit is something that is immeasurable, even under the most difficult of circumstances. It allows for those who choose to appreciate the lives that they have to find ways to overcome the worst of times so that the best of times are so much more special. It allows for those who choose to muster the courage and heart to fight through the difficult things that have come their way to be able to stand proud in their accomplishments at the end of the day. It creates a meaningful life for the individual that serves as an example to others to know that if you wish, you can make your life count in ways that you could never have imagined.
So, this Thanksgiving, I start my list of things for which I am most grateful in my life which always begins with Almighty God and my wonderful husband, it includes the most extraordinary women that I have met during this past year who are dealing with breast cancer under some most difficult circumstances. Whether it is those who seem to be losing their battle to advanced breast cancer or who have been living with breast cancer for more than four decades, I am grateful. Even in the midst of what you have had to deal with on a personal basis, each one of you has help others in ways that you can’t imagine to know that they are not alone and that there is always hope for the future. And I promise you that I am not the only one who will be including you on my list of those for whom I am grateful this year. You have inspired all of us and given us hope and for that we all will be forever grateful.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.