Thanksgiving this year will be a quiet affair. Because of the pandemic, it will be just the two of us. It was tempting to cancel the festivities all together and to go without giving thanks for anything this terrible year, but that’s exactly why we need to be especially thoughtful on Thanksgiving Day, 2020.

I’m grateful for American democratic institutions, for family and friends that practice good pandemic safety, for neighbors I didn’t know before lockdown. For a daughter that cares enough to call so that we can go around the virtual table to say that for which we are thankful. And it’s not always the big stuff.

The things we most often ignore or overlook are the little things and the ignored people who sustain and protect and enrich our lives.

Rabbi Marc Gellman, The God Squad

Animal Rescue Volunteers

Many of you have rescue animals as pets curled up near your Thanksgiving tables and we ought to take time before we eat to thank God for the chain of love and fate that brought them into your home, awaiting any scraps that fall from your table.

Rabbi Marc Gellman, The God Squad
Kumba’s at home now

One month before the pandemic shut out the world, we adopted a rescue Lab, Kumba from the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida. We thank the chain of humans that found him at a shelter in Puerto Rico, flew him to Florida, and nursed him back to health when he arrived, rail thin and severely anemic. The other chain of humans accepted our application, and visited us in our home to evaluate what kind of dog would suit us best. Through fate, we were the first applicants to meet Kumba. When his road and ours intersected, magic happened.

Hospital Caregivers

Another chain of humans saved my life in Amsterdam last year. The ER staff at OLVG Hospital who clamped an arterial hemorrhage, the ICU staff who kept me alive, the Turkish family who carried my husband through his darkest days, physiotherapist who was sure I’d walk out of there when I could barely flex a foot — they all saw a person, not a patient, and they helped that person come back to life. All of those men and women have been doing that for.others since I flew home. They have survived one wave of COVID and are now on yet another, pulling long, stressful hours in a city shut down by the virus. Our hearts are with them all as we head into the darkest days of the year.

year-round christmas lights

I used to be a Christmas snob, but no more. Living in the Florida tropics, we enjoy our outdoor porch year-round — it’s where I do most of my writing, in fact. Lighting up the night seems just right, especially this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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