I Am Thankful

Growing up, my family would sit around the Thanksgiving table and take turns saying what we were grateful for before we could eat. We weren’t big on saying grace, but this was our annual Thanksgiving tradition. It was our grace. My sisters and I always groaned and moaned about how cheesy it was, but we still did it. Most of what we said was the same. “I’m thankful for family and friends,” I’m thankful for the food,” “I’m thankful to be together,” “I’m thankful for our health.”

That last one, “I’m thankful for our health” was usually said by my Mom and the words were just there floating above our heads. It didn’t mean much to me or probably any of my sisters at the time. It was like a casual greeting that is automatically ingrained and perhaps taken for granted. A nicety. Something you of course mean, but doesn’t resonant. At least not until the fragility of “our health” becomes the only thing you can think about.

Since my step-father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer, we have had two Thanksgivings and instead of going around the table we made a general toast about being together, the food and our family. The “our health” was not mentioned although the phrase danced in my head just the same. It felt like I was being taunted by the phrase we dared not say.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and my Dad is in the hospital. I don’t know if he’ll be home for Thanksgiving this year. And even if he is able to be home, he probably won’t be able to sit around the table. All of this makes me so sad, but I refuse to stop being thankful. Instead I’d like to add some new things to our expressions of gratitude. I will not be taunted by what I would not say the last two years.


I am thankful for the supportive nurses and new doctors who have restored our faith in the medical system.

I am thankful for the small business owner who dropped everything and helped my mother clear her basement to prepare for a new set-up for my Dad.

I am thankful for the words of support and encouragement from friends – new and old.

I am thankful for the person who e-mailed me with an amazing opportunity right when I needed it most. She thought I was helping her, but really she is the one giving me more than I ever imagined.

I am thankful for the book – The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship
that just arrived in the mail and features one of my stories. It brought me a pride and feeling of accomplishment like none other.

I am thankful for my amazing assistants who have really lifted me up and supported me through everything.

I am thankful for my daycare parents who are understanding and patient.

I am thankful that even if my Dad is in the hospital that we will all be together.

I am thankful for the strength and courage of my mother.

I am thankful for my husband who supports me and makes sure I am able to be there for my parents without worry.

I am thankful that my family is loving and will be there for each other through everything.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?


Photo Credit: http://www.prettyorganized.com/organizing/free-fall-printables-favorite-quote




Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




  1. Nicole I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. Watching a loved one go through cancer is so difficult. The best thing you can do for your parents, and yourself, is try to keep a positive attitude. There is always hope. We just got the word my husband is cancer free again after a 2nd recurrence of cancer! So we are very tthankful! It isn’t easy but all you can do is stay thankful for the extra time you have with him. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Take care, Luanne