This Thanksgiving… Reflections, Remembrances, and Commitment

Yes, it’s rather cliché to write a Thanksgiving Holiday blog post reflecting on what I am most grateful for, but cliché or not I felt it important put in words my appreciation for the blessings in my life. 

 What am I most grateful for this Thanksgiving??


Just kidding (ok, half kidding).  Seriously though….

This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for love, friendship, memories, and inspiration.  Although the day-to-day often obscures the many blessings we have, this year more than any other, I am grateful for the life lessons and daily affirmations that helped me learn and grow.  I am surrounded by an amazing community –one that sustains me personally, intellectually, and spiritually.  I am blessed with the love of family that supports and loves me unconditionally. I can’t express how happy I am to be home to San Francisco.  I am blessed in my friends –my family of choice that is there good or bad, happy or sad. They forgive my random disappearances into the abyss known as work and keep me grounded and accountable. Thank you for the laughter, love and understanding that helps get me through the days and weeks that we’re apart. Thanks for checking in and making sure I don’t disappear and being forgiving when I do.  

This Thanksgiving, I know one of the most important lessons I learned this year is that life is short and we need to make the most of every minute.  Over the last six months, my communities experienced tremendous loss.  The untimely deaths of John Delloro, Tam Tran, and Sophia Robles Garcia devastated many of us.  These unsung heroes lived every minute of their lives to the fullest and left amazing legacies with the humanitarian and activist work they organized and participated in.  As I reflect on their lives and all that they gave to those around them, this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the opportunity to remember them through everyday action.  All three dedicated themselves to community, educational opportunity, equity, social justice, and promoting a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.  This Thanksgiving, I commit my voice and energy to working with advocates to pass the Dream Act –a piece of legislation that all three supported and advocated for.  While we miss their voices, the ultimate act of gratitude is working in their name to continue supporting the causes they were committed to in life and in death.

This Thanksgiving, I remember “Grandma” Jenny Carpio, an amazing woman who during her ninety years on this earth, witnessed history unfold and the world change. Grandma –as she was affectionately referred to by her granddaughters’ friends generously shared her life stories and history with me and let me record her thoughts and ideas.  When I reflect on her life (Remembering Jenny Blog). I hope that I have a tenth of the energy, verve, and heart she exhibited in life.  Her ability to persevere in the face of great adversity, to make others laugh until they cried, and tell a story (even if slightly embellished) made her such a charismatic force in this world.  I am inspired by all that I’ve learned from her and grateful that she shared her time and stories with me. 

President John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  The holiday season invites all of us to take a moment for self-reflection, to take inventory of our actions relative to our beliefs and recommit ourselves to working towards achieving positive change in the world.  This Thanksgiving, let’s be the change we want to see.

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