My Thanksgiving Gratitude List

Karissa Kocjancic
3 min readDec 15, 2022
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

As I sit here staring at the ocean waves in California on the last night of what most would describe as the “vacation from hell” I have decided to take a different perspective. Yes, it is true that my daughter and I hardly left our rooms, spent one visit to an urgent care and three visits to the e.r. to be correctly diagnosed with our respective acquired infectious diseases, yes it was a process to muddle through a broken healthcare system doing its best amidst the consequences of a mishandled pandemic, but nonetheless; we made it. And for that I am grateful. While my daughter sits next to me and coughs as I type; I am choosing the path of gratitude. Gratitude for my education I got in nursing school that nudged me to keep demanding more tests when diagnosis didn’t make sense and medication wasn’t working, gratitude for a partner who showed up every morning, noon, and night to deliver us meals as we spent our thanksgiving vacation with our kids in our own respective rooms, rooms that got extended when she wasn’t getting better. Gratitude for my daughter's father who flew from his work conference that was coincidentally an hour flight away to check on our daughter and bring her more clothes. Gratitude for her pediatrician who took my pages, validating the moves I was making. Gratitude for the healthcare staff that served us, both awful and awesome irrespectively. I’m grateful for so much. For the knowing that both our health is returning. For this cohesiveness that I saw take place between myself, my partner, his son, his family, and my daughter's father. That feeling and knowing that you’re supported in your cause when it really matters most. There is always a silver lining. Always beauty in tragedy. I am grateful for Rays hope. How he never stopped hoping we would get better in time to enjoy a trip to the zoo or disneyland or a stroll along the beach. It was only a weeks vacation, but to be honest I’m kind of grieving it. It sounds so privileged to be crying over not getting to do such lovely beautiful joyful luxurious things with those you love, but when you do your best to make a long distance single parent cross country relationship all it can be, the times you can bring your kids together and make memories are so few and so rare, and while this vacation didn’t bring the memories we thought they would, there is a part of me that feels the memories that came were so much more meaningful and…

Karissa Kocjancic

Lover of life. Believer of people. Connoisseur of growth. Mom. RYT-500. & Certified Life Coach at and