It’s a beautiful thing when an entire weekend is set aside each year to appreciate life’s gifts. For most of us anglos, it means the butterball turkey with home-made stuffing, garden to table vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and the highlight of the holiday itself-pumpkin or mince pie. Other traditions may have their own spin on the feast but it remains a day for giving thanks for a bountiful life.
This year I am especially thankful. It seems that I have been given the ultimate gift- a chance to save a life. My little brother’s in fact as his leukaemia requires a stem-cell transplant, and I am fortunate enough to be his donor. I say fortunate because chances are low that one may find a perfect match.
10/10 genetic markers-check
Same Blood type-check
I consider this opportunity not only to be humbling, but it is a daily reminder to appreciate each day we have. If I can offer my brother this chance at living, at someday walking his daughters down the aisle, at retirement globe-trotting with his devoted wife and at getting grey whiskers and creaky arthritic bones while he shuffles along with his walker, then I am so very anxious to walk on hot coals to get there.
Our nickname for him has always been “the golden boy.” The youngest of five, he grew up among devoted siblings and loving parents. His even-temper, gentle voice and sense of humour has endeared him to many and he is generous to a fault. He sailed through university, met a beautiful girl and had lovely children. He climbed the corporate ladder swiftly, but made no enemies. He is simply a stellar human being, and the nickname was fondly bestowed.
Today I give thanks. I thank God for a sibling that I love dearly. I thank the stars for science and the medical community. I thank the universe for linking he and I in this amazing journey.
Thanksgiving is wonderful with the trimmings, but when you can focus in on your gifts and how they can make a difference to others, thanksgiving is a really a prayer for the soul.