Disappointed and Grateful
It’s that time again. Thanksgiving and the holiday season have arrived again – already. It seems to me that it has been a rough year.
Maybe it’s always a rough year, filled with tragedies, polarization, wars, brutality, lies and disappointment. In recent days, the catastrophe of Hurricane Sandy and the horrendous deaths of the veterans hit by a train during a parade in Midland, TX, come to mind.
We go about our lives as if everything is normal, armoring ourselves with cynicism, but the stream of bad news takes its’ toll sometimes.
For me, President Barack Obama’s re-election was a great disappointment. I’m disappointed in the American people for voting for him again in spite of his pretty bad record. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in my view, would have been a much better choice for our country.
Again this year, some of my heroes have let me down. Lance Armstrong’s doping must be terribly disappointing to so many who admired him. One of my favorite journalists, Fareed Zacharia of CNN, plagiarized. Another highly respected CNN journalist, Candy Crowley, actually intervened in the third presidential debate, taking President Obama’s side instead of serving appropriately as a neutral moderator. It was really a bad thing. I can’t bring myself to watch either of them anymore.
Army Gen. David Petraeus, another American hero, had an affair which caused him to resign as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, where his skills are sorely needed.
I’m extremely disappointed in our national press this year, as well. They often exaggerate tawdry little personal stories, but have let our government slide on one of the most important stories of the year. Our ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, along with three other courageous Americans, died as a result of a planned terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi. An immediate perusal of mainstream news organizations on the Internet, as well as a look at the date of September 11, made it pretty clear from the beginning that this was terrorism rather than a spontaneous, out-of-hand protest.
In a dance reminiscent of entertainment known in the 1930’s as the “Harlem Shuffle,” the administration did an incredible act of dodge and shuffle, and was allowed to get away with investigating their own misinformation after the election rather than before. Shame on all involved!
Yet, it’s Thanksgiving, and I am grateful for a great many things.
I live in a country where I can say what I just said – without fear.
I have a wonderful family – my mom, my children and grandchildren, aunt, uncles and a “sister,” who has been here for me all year to help with my downsizing. When my 8-year-old granddaughter spends the night and snuggles up to me to watch television, my heart is truly full.
I am grateful for my girlfriends. It is an unbelievable blessing to have friends who always have your back.
I’m grateful for my little old cat “Tinker Belle,” who gets me moving in the mornings with her “kisses” and purring and kneading of my shoulder. I might not get up until noon without her help.
I’m grateful for the military, police and firefighters and emergency personnel for keeping me safe, often at the risk of their own lives – and for their keeping their sense of humor while risking their lives for us.
I’m grateful for my job, and for my cute, little house, cool in summer and warm in winter, and complete with fireplace and vegetable garden.
I am grateful for the mentors, the super achievers, the innovators and those who give their all to make the world a better place. So many people out there, Olympians, CNN’s annual heroes, community charities, private donors who help at home and nationally, people like Governor Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who gave so much to make this country better.
I’m grateful, along with my mom, for hot fudge brownie sundaes, and – with my friend David – for retirement. I’m grateful for my friend Donnie at the Brass and Copper Shop, who saved my beautiful metal trays from my dishwashing mistake after I slid them through his mail slot.
I’m grateful to have held the hand of my friend Teresa before she died.
Last but not least, I’m grateful for the impending bone marrow transplant of my beloved friend Eileen, whose physician, "Dr. Tact,” says to her: “You know, by all rights, you should be dead by now, and you and I think you’re well.”
In spite of all that the bad guys throw at us, life is good.