by Kassandra Lamb ~ It may have been a little difficult, this Thanksgiving, to drum up a lot of gratitude during a pandemic, especially if there were empty seats at your table.
There were in our case, due to family members in quarantine, currently struggling with mild to moderate cases of Covid that we are all praying stay mild to moderate.
There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to bring to light the areas of strength and those of vulnerability in our lives. You might be young and strong but also laid off and struggling financially. Or like my husband and myself, you might be old and more susceptible, but at least have a steady retirement income.
Normally, at Thanksgiving and other times during the year, when I count my blessings, that’s all there is to it. I take a few moments to feel grateful for the good things in my life and then move on.
But this year, it was not quite the same.
Gratitude during a pandemic had a different feel to it.
Each grateful thought was accompanied by a spasm of guilt. I’m grateful for our financial stability, but what about those who, through no fault of their own, are fighting to keep their heads above water. Even feeling grateful for the mild weather here in Florida, that allowed us to have company for Thanksgiving because we could eat and visit on the porch… even that had a twinge of guilt with it. I couldn’t help thinking about those who were in places where it was too cold to do that.
Feeling grateful for what I have almost feels like some kind of inappropriate “privilege” right now. And yet what is the alternative. To be ungrateful?
So, I am grateful for the strong areas of my life that give me the resources to avoid the vulnerable spots. I can afford to stay home all the time, pay for having things delivered to me, etc. (Like the bags of mulch, just delivered today by a very chipper young woman, that are now waiting for me to spread them on my garden. Ah, more guilt.)
And I have a vocation, writing, which I was already doing at home alone. So I have plenty to keep me occupied.
But my heart is sore for all those whose vulnerable areas are threatening to overwhelm them. I pray every day that they will be able to hang in there until this mess is over.
And there are two things I am grateful for without reservation.
Ironically, as a senior citizen on several medications which I believe are over-priced, I never thought I’d be saying this, but…
I’m grateful for the drug companies. Especially for the scientists and lab techs and all the other people working diligently at those companies to bring us vaccines in record time!
And I am definitely extremely grateful for the healthcare workers, the first responders, and the essential workers. They are putting themselves on the line every day to get us through this!!
Is it just me, or have you felt those twinges of guilt along with feeling grateful this year?
What has inspired your gratitude during this pandemic?
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological mysteries, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.
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