Originally published November 23, 2017.
I have a hard time with this holiday, especially right now. My families’ histories are ones of oppression, imposed by one side, received by the other, and for my wife, received again just as bad if not worse. So celebrating a day that is so soaked in brutal colonization just isn’t something I’m terribly interested in.
I struggle with the rampant commercialism that started ramping up a month ago and will go on ramping up for another. I struggle with the false imposed nationalism that forces so many of our soldiers and sailors to be away from the families, for no real good reason.
I struggle with the lack of justice in this country, that today, as on many other days, there will be families separated by bars or borders because they aren’t the right kind of citizen, or they don’t have money to make bail, or they are forced to work on a day that is supposed to celebrate community.
But as a day to celebrate community, as a day to celebrate family, that is something I can get behind. So what I say is that to all of you, who are part of my family of choice, to you who are meeting up with your family in tradition, for those of you who are connecting with family again after a long estrangement, and for those of you who are alone and missing those you would be with:
I am glad to know you. I am happy to celebrate you. And know that it doesn’t take a national holiday for me to recognize how blessed I am, from my wife to my children to my friends old and my friends new.
For this – for you – I give thanks.