The second thing that I am always thankful for, but even more so this year is my health. It is easy to say that once a year when you actively think about how lucky you are over a huge turkey dinner, but as I walk through the city and see the contrast there is in the quality of living for some compared to others, it forces you to really appreciate what you have, and drives you to want to help others. One night last week after work, I hopped on the metro to go to the grocery supermarket and pick up a few groceries. While I walked through the station with my earbuds in, and ikea bag in hand, I thought about what I needed to pick up and what I was going to make for dinner and lunch the next day. I swiped my metro pass and walked through to my stop. The train arrived, I walked in and stood near the centre pole. As I waited for my stop I noticed the faint sound of music that wasn’t mine, and some awkward movement from down the train. As I looked down the car an elderly man with a deformity in his legs was making his way though the train with a little radio strapped around his torso as he used two small, wooden, stool-like supports to walk his way through. He was about 70 years old with the legs of a 6 year old. I recalled the man I saw a few nights earlier, on the street of a wealthy area with one of his legs literally rotting. These people could be a complete sham and actually be perfectly fine. But if your life is spent begging on the streets of China, legit or not, your life can't be all that great.
All I could think about was how blessed I am that I am healthy, and how much of a luxury it is to get on the subway, to get to a grocery store and think about what I’m going to make for dinner. How much of a luxury it is just to be able to swipe my metro card! And so as the man made his way toward me in the subway, I pulled out my wallet, bent down, gave him a few kaui, and thanked my lucky stars for how blessed I really am.
**The next morning I woke up, I got a video of my pseudo grandparents at the cottage saying “Melissa where are you? We miss you!” In their cute, not at all synced voices. Just another thing to be thankful for - how much I’m loved.