Two Thanksgivings ago, I was forced to watch as my mom’s health deteriorated. Her skin turned a dull yellow and she was too tired to keep her eyes open. She was diagnosed with a liver disease, one that science still hadn’t invented a cure for. But no matter how weary she was, she still got up, invited people into her home, cooked a full meal and was a great host to her family and friends. Doctors told us not to lose hope, to just give it one more year, but no one was sure if she had that long, not even the ones with the medical degree. So all my family and I could do was pray and sit around the table cutting into the turkey, naming the things we were thankful for. But I wasn’t thankful. I was surrounded by food, family, and a roof over our head, but all I could think about was how no one was helping my mother. She’s the most selfless person I know yet no one seemed to care about anybody but themselves.
Fast forward two years, and with the help of new medicine, my mom is already planning the food to cook for Thanksgiving, full of energy, her face bright and full of life. I’m grateful for my mom singing and dancing in the kitchen as she mashes potatoes and pops the turkey in the oven. Hearing her laugh as she’s surrounded by people she loves, I’m grateful for her health, for mine and for everybody that I love.