Updated: Nov 25, 2020
by Melissa Lushington, "Don't Cut Corners...Unless It's Cake" Blog Slice #11
Here we are in November, which means we are weeks away from celebrating that time of year again-Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, as we all know, is going to look a lot differently this year than what we have been used to, and COVID-19 made that possible. The pandemic that started back in March has made St. Patrick’s Day different, Easter different, Memorial Day different, Independence Day - July 4th, Labor Day different, Halloween different, and making Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve & Day, and many other holidays that bring people together look a lot different as well. However, despite all these drastic changes due to the pandemic, one thing has remained consistently the same throughout every holiday celebrated this year- being together with the people you love.
This consistency is critical to people in the autism community. In a time where life itself becomes more uncertain by the day, people who are on the autism spectrum need to know that the love, support, and comfort from their loved ones will always be consistent no matter the changes that come in the future. Togetherness is something to be thankful for, especially during these dark and grim times. It is something that I have been grateful for every day. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it would be the importance of being together and being there for one another. Togetherness is essential for those on the spectrum because it helps us with communication skills, and it helps us learn how to cope with the new world that COVID-19 has brought us. To everyone on the autism spectrum (myself included), I want you to know that you have so much to be thankful for this year, despite COVID-19 changing our lives dramatically. You’re alive, healthy, you are getting your education even if it is virtual, you have parents or guardians working around the clock to take care of you, and you have this overwhelming support group that loves you unconditionally.
In conclusion, COVID-19 has given us a year full of challenges, including losing loved ones. Despite these challenges, we have so much more to be thankful for than we must grieve for. It is always typical for us to complain about what we don’t have, and especially with everything that has happened this year, it is easy to complain about everything we have lost. However, this Thanksgiving, I would like for you all to think about and reflect on what you still have. I would also like for you to consider all the possibilities about what you can always have. Once you think about the options, you will start to become more thankful for the opportunities that lie ahead of you. Many people on the autism spectrum proclaim that they are grateful; to be healthy, that their children are healthy, that they have jobs that allow them to provide and take care of themselves and or their families, that they and or their children have their education even if it virtually online, and that they are thankful that all together to love one another and be there for one another, especially during these challenging, difficult times.
One final note, I would like to say that I am grateful to all of you who check in every month to read my latest blogs that some of you have shared how much you enjoy. It makes me feel good to know that my blogs hold significant meanings to each of you. I encourage you all to keep reading my blogs, and it would mean a lot to me for you to leave a comment down below showcasing your support. Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi