Barbara Layt Vujaklija | November 28-2019
No matter the origins in your part of the world, during the autumn or early winter there is usually some sort of harvest or thanksgiving festival. A time for people to share the earth’s bounty with friends and family and gather together to renew and strengthen the bonds we share.
Growing up in England I remember being paraded from school across the village street to the local church which was decked out with bales of sweet-smelling hay, turnips, parsnips, carrots and all manner of other foodstuffs (both fresh and canned or purchased), plus magnificent late flowering plants. The church was filled with the earth’s splendor and the folk of the village. We elementary school children dressed in our best took our place in the choir stalls. After the sermon, we were to sing a few songs that expressed everyone’s thanks for the bounty before us. The foodstuff was later distributed to the poor of the village.
Since coming to live in America at the age of 20, I have discovered a new way of giving thanks to the earth’s bounty and family and friends. I have found the customs of Thanksgiving here in the USA to be comforting and enriching.
What am I, as someone with Autoimmune Encephalitis, thankful for?
I am thankful for my improving health, and for my family who has stayed beside me during my trials. I am especially thankful for my son-in-law and daughter who came to live with us to be my caregiver. Thanks to Toys-for-Tots and local food drives, I still have the satisfaction of helping those less fortunate than myself.
Here, at the International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society, we asked members what they were thankful for. Their responses are below:
Thanks for understanding
For this Thanksgiving, I am a warrior who is thankful for my husband, my family, my neighbors, and IAES. These people know that despite having AE I still have a lot of knowledge and am an intelligent woman.
I am so thankful for everyone at the International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society, they help me to feel that I will make it through this, my husband who has learned to deal with my poor memory, my family who supports me, our awesome neighbours and everyone in this world who has learned in one way or another that disabled people have so much to offer. – Mari Wagner Davis
Thanks for loving and listening
I am thankful to have a loving kind man that has been with me every step of the way and helps me cope every day. I am also thankful for my best friend who listens and talks to me about anything and whatever I need. – Katherine Crow
Thanks for life and a new me
Life ?? Thankful to still be alive and getting the chance at the new me. We all know the outcome could always be worse with this disease. Happy Thanksgiving. -Dayna Burns Rudy Munoz
Thanks to the Lord
For Thanksgiving, I want to say I am very thankful for the Lord being present with me and carrying me through a three year battle with AE. Especially when I was hallucinating in the psychiatric hospital, thinking everyone was plotting to kill me. He gave me a peace that I would survive and be OK. And I was.
-Wayne L. Wall
Thanks for hope, life, love
I am thankful that despite everything I can still have some semblance of a normal life, that my husband still loves me and cares for me despite everything, and I still have hope, love, life, my children, husband and the best of my friends and family in my life. I’m thankful that the chaff has been able to be cut away, so I can enjoy and wholeheartedly love those who are genuine in my life.
Life and smiles
I am thankful that my son did not die when he first got sick. He was very close. I am thankful that he was given a cheerful, strong and enduring spirit that touches the lives of so many he knows. I am thankful for his smiles and that he always compliments people and wants to care for them. I am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the gift of every day and the ability to live a full life with him. Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m thankful for finding this group because many of my questions have been answered here. Also because I don’t feel like a strange person anymore.
–Michelle M. Caamaño
I’m thankful for my husband and son who are also my caregivers.
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