Thursday, November 23, 2023

Grateful, Thankful And Blessed

Re-posted from last year:

For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have so much to be thankful for it’s hard to know where to start. So I will start with you - the MOTI who gather here. We are like family whose members don’t always agree and some times  even squabble but are nevertheless connected by a deep common bond. Unlike real families our bond isn’t blood but rather the shared values and principles that our country was founded on and we learned to cherish. We are bound together by our Constitution, the guide to building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

I am thankful for the many other things I have to be grateful for: I’m grateful I was born on the cusp of the 50s, when America was great and nobody was ashamed of that.

dutch colonial searsA Sears-Roebuck Dutch colonial; ‘colonial’ - you could never list it that way today.

For having been born to a world where individual freedom, self-reliance and personal responsibility were core values of everyone who aspired to be a good citizen, and that was nearly everyone.

Where the freedom call of the open road was a siren’s song


beckoning us to explore the land and our place in it.

road into the mist

I’m grateful that I was born when America was seen as a melting pot - and that was a good thing, not bad. A time before ‘cultural appropriation’ was a thing and, if used at all, applied only to the Brits raiding Egyptian tombs.

manhattan mexican tacosTaco Tuesday wasn’t a thing and tacos weren’t racist

I’m grateful for having received an actual education focused on knowledge, critical thinking and how to think rather than indoctrination consisting of what to think about such things as ‘critical race theory’ and other ‘social justice’ issues.

I’m grateful that I was raised in a time when many people, black and white, worked to correct true civil rights injustices. And when “peaceful protests”


meant marches and sit-ins rather than riots and and the creation of fake victims to be exploited for political gain.

I’m grateful for having been young at a time when it wasn’t necessary to feel guilty about everything that I ate, drank, drove, bought or dreamed about for fear of being selfish and killing the planet.

red 59 chevy impalaJust because it was cool

For these, and much, much more, I’m truly grateful. I will wrap up this Thanksgiving post with my annual MOTI Thanksgiving prayer from my mirror days:

In addition to all the other blessings

you have conferred on my reflective frame

I wish to thank you, Lord,

for the companionship of steadfast comrades

whose wit and wisdom and strength

help steer me through these tempestuous seas

of flattery and lies churned to fury by the ill will of demagogues.


A special thanks to all who visit here. I wish you a peaceful, happy Thanksgiving unmarred by strife. Because there is always something to be thankful for.

2023 Update: As you know, this has been a challenging year. In January my sight, which had been deteriorating for months, was nearly gone. It was finally diagnosed as severely inflamed retinas caused by one of my immunotherapy drugs. All the life saving medicines can turn on healthy tissue apparently. A long course of steroids finally restored my vision for which I was more than grateful, and began to look forward to summer.

Not Yet. In May I was hospitalized with  a severe case of Norovirus and found out that my latest MRIs showed what appeared to be regrowth of one of the brain tumors. So June, neurosurgery. Turned out it was NOT new cancer, thank you God, but rather radiation detritus (scarring) which was causing pressure etc. etc. that needed to be removed to reduce pressure. July, set back by pulmonary embolisms, both lungs, and a nasty case of fungal pneumonia which left me so weak I couldn’t stand up. I no more got out of the hospital from all that than I found myself right back (August) with hypernatremia (low sodium). Released a week later, weaker than ever. And since I wouldn’t want to go more than 2 months without a visit to my favorite hospital, I got a case of ulcerative colitis that my doc insisted I go to the ED for evaluation (October) due to bleeding, blood thinners etc., etc.. Through all this, including times when I could not get out of a chair or bed or toilet without A LOT of help, Raj has been my stalwart hero and human lifter. Did I chose wisely or what?

Anyway I’m very grateful that I’m here. Still doing every other week chemo as well as immunotherapy every 3 weeks. As long as it’s working and I can tolerate it I suspect it will continue indefinitely. Before my surgery the neurosurgeon explained many potential outcomes as a result of the operation as the mass was located in a very sensitive brain area responsible for motion.  Again, I thank God, and your prayers for pulling we through with no major (i.e. unable to walk) problems. I am left with a probably permanent problem with balance and a few fine motor skills. With your prayers and ongoing physical therapy I will continue to work to compensate as much as I can and I’m learning to deal with it.

So yes, all things considered I have many, many reasons to be thankful for this year. But to be honest, I would welcome a break from hospitalizations over the holidays! And I am hoping to get strong enough to begin some sort of physical training to get  some strength back as even walking upstairs is a major effort at this point. I hate being an invalid and in fact haven’t even been able to acknowledge that word up till now. But there it is, they don’t handout Handicapped license plates for nothing. I will deal with it.

So on this day of thanksgiving I thank each of you for your concern, encouragement and prayers. There is no way to let you know how much it has meant to me and Raj, we are forever grateful. I wish I could operate at full capacity again and perhaps I can at some point. You keep praying and I’ll keep trying, promise.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And remember no matter what hardships we face…there is always, always something to be grateful for.

grateful thankful blessed