Thanksgiving Heroes

liberty_waveSometimes the thankful gets buried under an avalanche of the…other stuff. The worries, the concerns, the humdrum, the fury.

Recently, for me, it’s been a lot of fury. Make no mistake, I’m thankful for the fury. It’s protected my heart against the onslaught of grief which is no doubt coming. It acts as a buffer until my spirit is ready to put one foot in front of the other. The rage acts as a middle woman between yesterday and tomorrow.

But fury takes its toll. It sucks you dry like a vampire leaching blood. I’ve been here before. When you eventually come limping into port, spent and sputtering, it is scary as hell. What you need is someone to help guide you in. Someone who will catch your elbow as you stumble ashore. Hero to Leander rowing across a sea of emotion.

 

My husband and I met on Thanksgiving. Over nineteen years the story–our story, our once upon a time–has been honed and polished. We’ve been together long enough that we both tell the same version–the she said and the he said have long since been we said. This year I had planned back to back posts of a very different nature and then life went and threw a monkey wrench into my sea of relative calm and well, here we are. Here I am. Not so silently vibrating with rage. Lightening bolts of fury crackling from my fingertips.

The thing with fury is that you never know when it’s just going to burn itself out. When it’s just going to extinguish and take with it not only the flame but the light you use to guide yourself. It could be five minutes from now. It could be two years. But however long it takes, I know I have a safe haven to land, to dock. It’s the same one I’ve had one for nineteen years. Even when things are going along float-ingly and I’ve no use for it, it’s there.

He’s there.

 

There is a saying I am fond of, one of those slightly cheesy-could-be-on-a-poster-in-a-break-room type quotes:

Fate whispers to the warrior, you cannot withstand the storm.
The warrior whispers back I am the storm.

There is a lot of energy contained in a storm. It can do a lot of damage, but it can also sweep away the detritus, blow away the cobwebs, leave everything around it…different. My husband has, with unfailing consistency, accepted each storm, accepted the damage, accepted the different. Exactly as I have done for him. In a story of Heroes and Leanders, we have played each to the other.**

And for that, today and everyday, I am thankful.

I tease my husband that I am an easy person to be married to. Except for the hard bits. It is not easy being married to someone who is vocal, who is opinionated. I will say passionate, but passion is often bedfellows with lunacy and single-mindedness. Yet not only does my husband carve out a space for me to refuel and sometimes lick my wounds and heal, he is proud of my opinionated, single-minded, passion bordering on lunacy.

And for that too I am thankful.

leightonheroI don’t subscribe to the idea of luck when it comes to love and relationships, though I am partial to a bit of fate all tied up with string. My husband and I chose a course, a series of conscious decisions which led us to one another, which led us exactly here.

So in the history of us, a love story which started over pumpkin pie and has led us all around the world, I am once agin reminded to be thankful. Not only for the ability to feel, and feel well and passionately, but to have a place to dock, night after night. And to offer a place in return.

 

**If you’re not familiar with the story of Hero and Leander, it ends, as with most myths, with death. Leander crashes upon the rocks. A distraught Hero throws herself of the cliff. Rest assured that my infatuation with Greek mythology stops short at the death bits. I’m not that passionate.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Heroes

  1. London Mary November 24, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Dana – It is good to stop and reflect on the wonderful things in our lives. Aside from the anger and disbelief at the election results I’m also going through a tough patch in some other areas. It is easy to dwell on the negative and not recognise the positive and I need to remind myself of my own good fortune more often (as you are doing in this post.) You are very lucky to have a guy who supports you, believes in you and truly appreciates you. That is actually saying a lot.

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    • Dina Honour November 24, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      I would like to say I recognize it enough to be thankful for it every day, but…I’m only human. I’m sorry you’re having a tough time of things–my only hope is that on top of all the external stuff maybe you’re being really efficient and getting it all over and done with at once. You’re right. It’s easy to dwell on the negative. It’s one of the reasons I like Thanksgiving so much. It actually forces me to remember all I have to be grateful for. Take care of yourself! D

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  2. Lynn Roach November 25, 2016 / 5:20 am

    Your story with your husband sounds much like mine. We’re both very independent people, but we shore one another up when needed. I’m not sure he fully grasps the depths of my despair at Hilary not becoming our next president, but he does fully get the horror of it being who it seems it will be. In our dominantly T-supporter infested area we are solidly liberal and had waves of sick foreboding during the campaign but then one of us would say, “It can’t happen. People have got to be too appalled by at least one of his many failings.” At the same time we could see the people who look on the educated or liberals — a lot of the working class folks in our area — as being just as much their enemy as people of color, immigrants, and refugees. They were unhappy, not able to have the same life their parents or grandparents had had, and looking for someone to blame. My husband teaches history and the implications of that disgruntled group backing T are not lost on him.

    I keep trying to not sink completely into the despair I feel about both our state and the country. Pantsuit Nation has helped tremendously; it gives me hope. Hearing the growing popular vote count of Hilary votes helps; I know that more people chose sane leadership over 50 shades of crazy.

    January will be crawl-under-a-rock-with-some-wine season when the new state officials take office at the start and the presidential inauguration at the end. I’m thankful for newspapers. I’ve turned back to them and away from much TV news, and suspect in January I may shut the TV off for awhile to avoid scraping more layers off of my currently fragile psyche. I’m thankful beyond belief for my grandkids, especially my new granddaughter. I went and held her for over three hours the day after the election and have spent at least 1-2 days a week with her since. I always feel more hopeful and determined after that. Determined to not let the orange menace and his minions ruin her world.

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    • Dina Honour November 25, 2016 / 10:29 am

      We’ve got a Christmas vacation with friends, in the sun, which I am looking forward to for many reasons, but one of the biggest is as a way to reboot and reset. I fear the true tests are still to come, and I think we all need time to refuel.

      I think the gender split in how this particular election has affected us is telling. As I said to someone, more than anything, it feels as if someone jumped out from behind a door and yelled “Surprise! You only thought you were on the way to equality! Silly bitches, you think we’d let you get away with that? Bwahahahahaha..”.

      At least that is what it feels like to me right now. While my husband understands it and supports my feelings, I think it is difficult to fully understand unless you have been part of the ‘group of marginalized’ at some point in your life. Most heterosexual white males simply haven’t. Many, many (as evidenced by PN) sympathize and empathize and are horrified by the stories of sexual harassment and assault, and probably even more horrified at the pervasiveness. I think they simply could not understand the deep levels of institutionalized sexism present in our country, just as I couldn’t understand the institutionalized racism until I really opened my eyes to it. And then I had to force myself to keep them open because the first instinct is to close them in horror.

      Right now, my biggest struggle is believing that there is more good in people than hate. It’s a fine line somedays.

      Hold your granddaughter. She is the future. What we leave her is now in our hands.

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      • Lynn November 25, 2016 / 11:05 am

        Yes, to all in your reply, but especially the gender split.

        I had some conversations prior to the election with males who made snide comments about women voting for HRC “just because she’s female.” My response was, “Oh, hell NO! But it’s certainly a 6″ coat of icing on a substantial cake.” If I was only interested in voting for a women I could have shown interest in that twit Palin the last time around in hopes she’d get past VP. (No way.) I could’ve backed Stein. No; for several reasons.

        I’ve admired Hilary for decades. Decades. Have read multiple books about her, trekked to hear Bill speak a couple of times in large part in hope of seeing her, and still have my 2008 Hilary t-shirt. I wanted her in the WH.

        It took a few days after the election before I could get the words out, but when I said through tear-shiny eyes to my husband that I don’t know if I’ll see a woman elected president in my lifetime I think he felt it, at least for a moment.

        When a person hits their late 50s and into their 60s those chances for change to happen are more finite. It’s one of the reasons we were beyond thrilled to be in New Orleans when marriage equality passed. That town knows how to celebrate, and I will never forget being on Jackson Square that day. How happy everyone was! It was a seismic shift forward that could be felt. Had hopes for another one of those.

        I hope your vacation in the sun helps you to hit the reset button, Dina. Hit it again for me.

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