Giving Thanks Every Day

Thanksgiving always reminds me just how much I have to be thankful for in my life. This year was, however, tougher than usual. My 99-year-old grandfather is slowing succumbing to age, dementia and anxiety replacing his once jovial and robust personality. It was absolutely crushing spending three days with him, knowing that he is in agony. He has "lived too long" and cannot remember everything like he used to. It was a test of strength to be with him, but it reminded me of something incredibly valuable: compassion. I was not always able to keep my composure, but I tried to be compassionate despite the frustration and mental anguish. If I were in his shoes, I have no idea what I would do, but I would hope my family would treat me kindly.

So while I am thankful for all the usual things like a roof over my head, food to eat, sources of income, my dear friends and other things, I am even more thankful this year that I had a chance to see things from a different perspective. I am thankful to have such a resilient family. I am also incredibly thankful for having met a man who can give me strength and calm my anxieties, even when we are on separate continents.

Life is not easy. It is full of ups and downs, loss and sadness. But you can work through the rough patches with compassion, humility, love and some teamwork. Remember to "be excellent to each other" and be thankful for everything, even if it is something unexpected.

Even though he cannot read this, this post is lovingly dedicated to my grandfather Richard Carparelli and to my grandmother Christine Carparelli. Things are not the same without you, yiayia.

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