This time every year, people are busy preparing a feast and welcoming family. Thanksgiving is the one time of year families and friends gather and give thanks for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. It is a tradition, a time of excitement as the beginning of one year is ending and a new one beginning. Decorations come out in anticipation of the upcoming sacred holiday and shopping lists are made. It is a joyous time for most families.
This year is different. I am struggling to find things for which I am thankful. This has been a dark year for my family and me. In fact, it has been a year from Hell. I won't list all my family has been through this year; it is too personal and painful. It strains credibility. But as the saying goes, "Truth is stranger than fiction."
Given the stress we were under, I had the opportunity to cancel our family thanksgiving, but it is our tradition not subject to the whims of our sorrows.
I believe traditions are important. Thanksgiving is the time of year when families pull together, laugh, reminisce, and embrace each other. A time to reinforce the values we hold dear and pass them to the next generation.
As dark clouds hover over our family, I am trying to focus on the things and people I cherish and hold dear.
I am thankful for life. Not long ago, turning sixty would have been traumatic, evoking fear and depression. I am a vain person and the aging process is something I fight tooth and nail. However, cheating death, twice, in the span of six months gives you a new perspective. Now I want to celebrate. I'm here.
I am thankful for the miracle of modern medicine and the high percentage of women beating cancer. Thankful my stepdaughter is returning to her glowing and vibrant self. Thankful my niece is winning her own battle in this dreadful war.
I am thankful for the airlines who bring my daughter and sister home safely.
I am thankful for my precious grandchildren who light up my world and make me feel young again.
I am grateful for talented friends who support me in my writing endeavors, even during down times.
I am thankful for my precious dogs, Cooper and Piper. For turning naps into an hour of unconditional love and solace.
I am thankful for my husband, his love, tenderness, and patience. He is my safe place to fall and my foundation.
I am thankful for my children’s love, compassion and devotion to family. It is is inspiring.
I am thankful for opportunities to mend old hurts, before it is too late, and minister to those I love. I am thankful each day brings another chance to extend forgiveness and find peace.
I am thankful that today and all of the tomorrows given to each and everyone one of us is a new moment, a second chance to get it right, and an opportunity to change, grow and move the world.
To each of you, God bless and have a Happy Thanksgiving.