Thankful (in honor of Thanksgiving)

I am thankful for my good fortune. Because of a zillion times a zillion or more miniscule incremental steps that have occurred through eons too vast for me to even begin to comprehend, I am.

I am thankful for my husband who is my best friend and life companion. The one who holds me accountable when my thinking is fuzzy and my motives might be mean spirited. I am thankful for caring family members who have hung in with me for the long haul and who accept me even when we disagree. I am thankful for friends and colleagues, old and new, who stimulate me to think, to question, to work and to play.

I thank the doctors who saved my life on several occasions and the scientists who developed the technology and the medicines that allow me to continue to enjoy living.

But most of all, I am thankful that I live in a time and a place where I have the luxury to mourn the death of one loved one at a time. I am thankful for the men who so wisely wrote a constitution that separates government from religion, and that I do not live in a place where bloody religious wars are being fought in my back yard.

I thank my children and their spouses for raising my grandchildren to be moral individuals, skeptics and critical thinkers, unencumbered by superstition and the bigotry of religion. They, and others like them, are the hope for the future of humankind.

I value my life here on earth because I know that's all there is. So why do I care what happens after I'm dead? I value the survival of our species because I am one of us. Survival is in my genes.

_—November 22, 2006

 —M. LaCourt

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