For the last month or so, I have been living with a vivid sense of gratitude. It is a heightened awareness of the things and places and, above all, people who make my life what it is. So Thanksgiving Day is in perfect sync for me this year.
I am with my family on the East Coast, my parents and my five remaining siblings (our sister died in 2004) and their families. These are people that I not only love, as my kin and flesh-and-blood, but whom I like and admire as men and women. My three brothers are stand-up guys, good husbands and fathers, funny, talented and amazingly affectionate. I am proud to be one of them. My two sisters are likewise good moms and wives, willing to go the extra mile, engaged with their own worlds, smart and persistent. I love to see both of them smile.
And I am grateful for my friends, some of whom I have known for forty years. It is such a pleasure to be in the company of someone who knows you, has thick history with you, with whom you can tell the truth without fear, and laugh till you drool.
I am grateful for the men I have loved, both living and dead, who have made me by joy and pain together the man that I now am. I am grateful for my patients, for their trust and their marvelous souls. I am grateful for chance and fateful encounters, for the way the sun shines as it sets through the leafless trees here by the bay in the chill autumn, and for my ancestors, who came four generations ago to this amazing land which makes my life possible.
Thank you. Thank you so much.