I'm writing this on Thanksgiving. The Canadian version, of course.
This is a day that's supposed to be about family, and about the gratitude we feel for all of the graces and wonders that we've received in life. We're meant to spend it giving thanks for all of life's little joys.
I'd like to do that, but this year it's not so easy. This Thanksgiving is marred by tragedy, both on the global scale and also on the personal.
Of course, there are the events in Israel and the Gaza Strip. I don't want to get too deep into it, even though I feel that I should. There's so much to unpack there. How do I strike a balance, condemning the catastrophic violence of Hamas against Israeli citizens while acknowledging that the Palestinian people are oppressed, living in apartheid under the government of Israel?
Is it appropriate to try and do so, so soon after so many people have been killed?
The murder, abduction and terrorism against civilians is never acceptable, no matter who is carrying it out. And while that applies to both sides in the conflict, the root cause is an ongoing occupation of over fifty years. We can't pretend that this terror attack came out of nowhere.
Still, the only people who should be in harm's way are the people performing the attacks. Whether that attack be by the hands holding the guns, or the ones holding the pens that write the government orders.
My hearts go out to the families of the victims, and to the people who are dying in the retaliation attacks against the Strip. No innocent civilians deserve to be targeted like they have been.
I'm not equipped to go deeper. I encourage my readers to ignore attempts at misinformation being peddled by political pundits and instead listen to the words of the people on the ground.
Hear the words of those who are living through it, not those seeking to profit off of it.
Here in North America, this is also the time of year to remember our own crimes and acts of terror against our native peoples. Indigenous People's Day, Truth and Reconciliation Day, and so on.
It's Columbus Day in the U.S.A, as well. Or, as one of my friends affectionately calls it, 'Celebration of Genocide Day'. How readily we forget our own history here in the North when it isn't convenient for our national narratives.
We do have something to give thanks for on this front, at least. Congratulations to the people of Manitoba, who have just elected Canada's only First Nations Premier!
This is an important step. It signals a step in the right direction in the fight against inequality, especially in Manitoba. There's been a long running and heated battle over missing First Nations women and the lack of interest in searching for them, so hopefully this indicates that the people of the province are taking the right side.
All of that is on the global, international scale. But Thanksgiving is also about one's own personal life. This is where today has become a day of reflection for me.
It's a rough time for my family. I don't want to dig in too deep, as the issues concern more than just me. Suffice to say, we are on the cusp of having to say farewell to a pair of very beloved family members.
One human, one a four-legged companion. Both are loved and appreciated for their kindness, compassion and companionship. Both are mothers who raised their respective youngsters as well as they knew how.
Grieving for humans and grieving for animals may seem like they're on two different levels for some, I understand that position. Maybe it's strange to link them. But to me, they are both part of the same family, both part of each other's families. Both part of mine.
It's hard to be here, knowing there's nothing that I can do for either of them. All I can do is offer a shoulder and a hug to the people around them who are struggling with me, some far more so.
It's hard to give thanks this year, with all of this going on. But I'll try.
I'm thankful for the loved ones I have. I'm thankful that though we are losing dear ones soon, that we have wonderful memories of their lives to share and celebrate. I'm thankful that we still have time to be together, to hear stories and tell them.
I'm thankful for my partner; he always has my back, and he's always there when I need to vent or just sulk with a hot cup of tea. When this letter goes out, it will be our third anniversary. Here's to many, many more.
I'm thankful that even when everything seems to be going wrong, the world keeps turning, the sun keeps rising, and the leaves keep falling. In spite of it all, the world is not ending, and we can always look forward to a better day tomorrow.
And I'm thankful for all of you; the people who put up with my rambling and my raving here on World-Weary. The people who come onto the site to post messages and talk about their lives, or their opinions. The people who support me and one another.
I hope you all have plenty to be thankful for as well. Let's all hope for more peaceful times ahead.