I hate to cry, but the tears threatened to spill as I strained to keep them locked up. The table spread was polka dotted with all our favorite Thanksgiving foods with more dishes I was able to help concoct and less my mother had to shoulder.

My family has a tradition of going around the table every Thanksgiving and saying three things for which we are thankful. This year, I was last, and no one took my “cancer-free” out.  When it was my turn, I didn’t expect the emotions to bubble out like a child holding foam too tight in the tub between clumsy wet hands.

A year ago, I laid on a mattress in the look room feet away from my family still sitting at the table. My arms were staccatoed with healing IV needle pricks as I tried to rest but listened with closed eyes to the sound of Shiloh’s sleepy baby breathing and my family still clinking silver to ceramic plates. My biggest reasons last year around the table were thankfulness for Shiloh’s life, my life, and my family.

This year, I’m thankful for our thriving and the strength it takes to stare down illness in its irises and win.Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.

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