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Thanksgiving is not always a happy holiday, at least not for me. I lost my Aunt Ronnie the day before Thanksgiving in 1989. She was my closest relative in Los Angeles and my only family member here. Five years later, I lost my older sister Nancy, who hosted our Thanksgiving dinners at her home in Oakland, CA. After Nancy died, I did not participate in Thanksgiving events for about ten years.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am remembering my dear partner “Pat” who always cooked the turkey and made the gravy and stuffing for our Thanksgiving dinners. He passed away last March and it just won’t be the same without him.

So, instead of wishing people a “Happy Thanksgiving,” because it isn’t always that for many people, I am wishing everyone a “Safe and Peaceful Thanksgiving” however you choose to spend it. You don’t need a turkey to enjoy this holiday. All you need is gratitude for what you have in your life.