An Autism Mom’s Gratitude List in a Confusing COVID World

Notice that I haven’t written any blogs since returning home from Maine on Labor Day. Why not? I could say I’ve been surprisingly busy feathering my new 74th Street nest. (That process has taken much longer than expected.) But that’s only part of the truth. The main reason I haven’t been blogging as much is that the world has become an ever-more frightening and controversial place. I tend to be passionate and honest in expressing my point of view, and I don’t wish to be pilloried on social media. Nor do I intend at age 65 (gulp!) to sugar coat my words.

Okay, I finally have a safe topic (I hope).  Now that Thanksgiving and the holidays are here, I’m inspired to offer my gratitude list. With COVID still such a dominant factor in our lives, sometimes the absence of a negative becomes a positive for which I am grateful. It’s the best I can do this year.

My list of 29 things to be thankful for is pretty long, considering the state of the planet and the seemingly endless atmosphere of rage and despair.

1. Everyone I know and love has survived Covid19 and remained healthy.
2. A life-saving vaccine that makes it possible for human beings to go out and socialize again.
3. My new home—a late in life realization of the American Dream. I LOVE 31G!
4. My broker and new best friend, John Gasdaska from the Corcoran Group who worked tirelessly for almost two years to find me a needle in the Manhattan haystack—an exciting and affordable apartment with a split bedroom layout, great views and outdoor space.
5. Knowing my autistic daughter has the option to live here after we’re gone.
6. Super low interest rates and a strong stock market.
7. Taking the opportunity offered by a Covid-depressed Manhattan real estate market to achieve #3 and #5.
8. Against all odds, my husband enjoying the three best years of his career.
9. Being able to see our son for a whole month after not seeing him for 1 and a half years. Going on a family vacation together again.
10. Art and its unexpected wonders.
11. Broadway.
12. My daughter Samantha’s resilience and determination.
13. Listening to Samantha sing and perform. Seeing the joy in her face.
14. My son Matt’s incredibly healing sense of humor.
15. Matt’s excitement over the success of his new Formula 1 podcast, Red Flags. Hearing him sound hopeful about his new TV scripts.
16. The caption phone that my deaf, 94-year-old mother finally agreed to accept so conversations with me and the outside world are possible. Hallelujah!
17. My husband Howard—all around brilliant warrior and family man with a heart of gold. His devotion to our NOT easy-peasy family and his unfailing sense of humor.
18. Making wonderful new friends and seeing them in person.
19. My best friend Robin Reinach for over 50 years.
20. Avoiding the stress of travel and being able to celebrate Thanksgiving at a Turkish restaurant across the street. My mom doesn’t like turkey anyway!
21. Not seeing Trump’s name and picture in the Times every day.
22. The sanity and kindness of Biden.
23. #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter.
24. The unexpected friendliness of our neighbors and building staff.
25. Holding my boundaries against situations and people that would devour my time and energy without gratitude.
26. Dr. Roger Hardl, an incredible neurosurgeon who gave me back my life.
27. The absence of chronic back and sciatic nerve pain.
28. Zumba and the joy of dance.
29. Zooming AND going out again. Enjoying the best of both worlds.


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