November 26

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 26: “Peace is the answer. Joy is the goal. Thanks is the prayer. Love is the road.”― Mary Davis

The most perfect Thanksgiving Prayer ever! I love this quote. Today I am reflecting on all the Thanksgivings I have celebrated since starting this journey. The first 3 or 4 I spent making dinner for the clients of the facility where I got clean and sober. It was a recovery home that housed up to 50 clients. I loved cooking for all of them! What a great way to celebrate! Then we had a big meeting afterwards and it always made me cry.

I went to work at that place after I had 18 months of recovery. Another tremendous gift! At 4 or 5 years, I began going to the Mission in Indio and helping to cook and serve homeless clients there. It was wonderful! Then I went for many years to downtown LA to the mission to serve and cook. It was good, but became a celebrity gig in the early 2000s, so I quit going there. I have spent most of my Thanksgivings volunteering somewhere or hosting an orphan’s dinner. That is where my friends who do not have family or have nowhere to go for the holiday come to my house and I cook for them. It is a fun gathering, and I really love it.

Many communities would usually have a Thank-a-thon or something like that for the recovery community. I guess it will be different this year. I have dinner today with 2 of my neighbors who are not spending the day with their family or don’t have any. It takes me out of that story of ME that has not had any family since my husband died. He and I got to spend so many wonderful Thanksgivings together! 7 of them on the holiday, but we did a Thanksgiving dinner every week for a few months when he was first diagnosed with terminal cancer. It gave us a great way to spend an evening with a small group of friends and he got to tell them goodbye, a few at a time. We even did that with his family, the remaining cousins and aunts and uncles. So I cooked a lot of turkey dinners and mashed a lot of potatoes. Always an act of love for me. I enjoy cooking for people.

Today, PEACE is the answer…JOY is the goal…THANKS is the prayer…and LOVE is the road. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and those you hold dear. Please be mindful and safe in how you celebrate your life today!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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