Sunday, November 30, 2014

What I'm Thankful For - 2014

November comes to an end once again, and again I'm in an introspective mood. Thanksgiving was a few days back and every year around this time, I write down what I've been thankful for during the past year.

I think the only big thing I can be thankful for this year is life.

Yeah, kinda like that. I'm just thankful to be alive, I guess. This whole year I've had to deal with a lot of death.

An aunt and an uncle passed away within two weeks of each other back in July, the aunt from complications of various illnesses, and the uncle was a suicide. A very good friend and fraternity brother of mine also died unexpectedly in October, too. And that's not even counting all the deaths of people I knew vicariously; Parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins you name it all decided to croak this year.

That's not counting all of the people in the public eye that passed recently like JewWario, Joan Rivers, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, James Avery, Jan Hooks, Don Pardo, the guy who played Doc on Fraggle Rock, but especially Robin Williams. That one came between the aunt and the uncle and that hit me pretty hard. I never knew the guy, of course, but he was just one of those people you never thought would go away, especially the way he did.

I guess that's true for all deaths, really. You're always surprised when they go. You're like "Really? HIM?! How?!" You're so used to these people being in your life, and no one knows what to do when they leave.

But all of those people, whether you actually knew them or not, taught you to value life. You remember how much better your life was for knowing that they were there, right?

And let's not count out all the people that are still here. Your family, your friends, the people you work with, everyone you've ever sent a message to (online or not), that jerk that cut you off in traffic today, even random people you meet on line at Comic-Con. They are all important to you for knowing them, just as you are to them. Each person makes every other person value life in their own way, the good or the bad. And it makes their (and your) inevitable exit that much harder.

But when they're here now? That's all golden. I want to be here as long as I can, and I'm happy to be here. I want to do more cool things next year that I did this year. I went to Comic-Con, Las Vegas, got to meet LeVar Burton, and I even went to The End of the World (okay, just Long Island).

It's quite a contrast from this time last year (and other years) when I was depressed and had thoughts about ending it. But the deaths, the people I know now, and even going to therapy (yeah, I do that now) pretty much changed that perspective for me.

And that's why I'm thankful for life. I'm not done yet, and I want to make your life the best that I can make it, as long as you're willing to do the same for me.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.