For me, this holiday is intrinsically tied to Dad. Last year I cooked my first turkey in the company of Dad and good friends, and we laughed the night away, shared a beer or five, and watched football.
My decision for this year has been to refuse to allow myself to mope. I absolutely will not wallow in the sadness that won't go away, I will overcome it by bringing myself joy, and giving myself opportunities to grieve with a smile.
This year I just finished cooking eggs and bacon for everyone, I pulled the turkey out of the brine I helped prep for Sarah's friendsgiving, I have my wonderful mother Debba staying with me, and I'll be having thanksgiving dinner with my brother Will and new friends.
I had a rough spot about a week ago where I thought "what the hell am I gonna be thankful for this thanksgiving? This year has sucked in every measurable metric."
Well this year I'm thankful for all of you, my friends, who quite literally are the reason I've made it through this year. I'm thankful to live in a diverse city surrounded by as much culture as anyone could ever want. I'm thankful for a wonderful, supportive family. I'm thankful for the career I've chosen as my own, and the people who've guided me along the way.
But this year, most of all, I'm thankful for hospitals and all the wonderful humans who work in them, be they doctors, nurses, food court cashiers, janitors, orderlies, security guards, whatever. I've spent a lot of time this year in hospitals, whether watching my father pass away with love and care and dignity from the staff at the Jeanes Hospital in Philly after they gave him all of their effort to pull him through his pneumonia/leukemia, to watching my mother spend time in three, world-class hospitals to have them successfully remove the tumor from her gut, and put her on the path to full health, to the team who cut the polyp off of my vocal cords and helped save my career.
This world has heroes, and many of them are unsung and work grueling hours at pivotal institutions around this nation and the world, many today, instead of spending thanksgiving with their families.
In 2016 they have done so much for me and my family, and today I am so very, very thankful