I am grateful for so many things

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by Maureen Fiedler

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Thanksgiving for me this year is hard. I’m an admitted “political junkie” and we live in the age of Trump. So, I’m constantly following stories about President Donald Trump the unpredictable. Trump the insulter. Trump the womanizer. Trump who wants to overturn Obamacare. Trump the president who tweets first and asks questions later.

But even in the midst of this administration, not to mention all the other woes of our world, there are things to be thankful for. First, is the news media. I give thanks for a free press in the United States, a press that can — and does — report on our president, on the action (or inaction) of Congress and on important legal cases floating through the court system.

That media exposes stories that need to see the light of day, like the reports of sexual harassment that dominate the headlines.

I am also grateful for those who study the seas and skies and predict the weather. It’s a wonderful guide for decisions day-to-day.

I am very grateful for Pope Francis and the example he provides for the world at large. Although I wish he would update himself on the roles to which women are called in our church, I applaud his efforts on behalf of the poor and world peace. I worry about his upcoming trip to Myanmar, but I’m not surprised that he wants to go there. It fits his love of the poor and victims of violence.

I am also grateful for wonderful friends. Not long ago, one of my friends threw me a surprise party for my 75th birthday! (Yes, believe it or not, I’m 75!) But this was no small event — at least 75-100 people attended — and it was a total and complete surprise.

Even when they are not throwing surprise parties, I am grateful for friends who share quiet, thoughtful moments, for friends who are part of a regular “Wednesday Night Liturgy Group,” for colleagues at work who are intelligent, well-informed and caring. I am grateful for my housemate, a Maryknoll sister who shares stories about her years in Tanzania in Africa.

I am also blessed with wonderful neighbors with whom I often share a Friday night dinner, family stories and endless political banter.

And this may sound crazy, but I am grateful for my three cats: Einstein, Cleopatra and Napoleon. Yes, those are their names. They are wonderfully friendly, great company and often humorous.

Yes, lots to be thankful for. Meow! Meow! Meow!

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