Being Thankful

Thanksgiving morning, November 27, 2014

I was raised in a decent sized family; however, years and distance as well as arguments, and in some cases, old age has changed the size of the guest list at my Thanksgiving dinner table.
The need for more tables and chairs and has dwindled down. There are no huge piles of coats on the bed in one of the bedrooms at say, my Aunt Sondra’s house, which I used to play in when I was little.
I used to hide beneath the pile of coats that were thrown on the bed . . . and I am not sure why I did this. I suppose hiding in a pile of coats and screaming “Roar,” or “Boo!” when someone came in to find their jacket is something little boys do—or at least it was something I did.

It has been decades since I sat at “The Kid’s Table,” and it has been almost as long since I have been to a holiday meal where there was a “Kid’s table.”
Nevertheless, I am thankful for the memories I have. I am thankful for the mental picture I keep of my entire family, sitting together, and enjoying a meal.
And of course, someone would always spill something. But whatever spilled was quickly cleaned, and someone would always say, “It’s not a holiday dinner until someone spills something.”

Plates were passed and the sound of knives and forks clanged and scraped against the dishes. The room was filled with the aroma of perfectly cook food. The turkey was carved into juicy slices of tender white meat and the stuffing was excellent. The brisket was passed around and the mashed potatoes were the best I have ever tasted. Then, of course, there was the yams and the cranberry sauce. But after the last forkful of food, there was almost always the comment of a satisfied exhale, which followed with the words, “I’m stuffed!”

One of my family’s traditions was to to go around the table, and each person, no matter how old they were or where they sat, would share what they were thankful for. I always looked forward to this. I enjoyed listening to the gratefulness as well as sharing my own.
I miss that tradition . . .
But rather than let it fade or dwindle away like the number of guests at my holiday dinners, I will share it with you.

I am thankful for the roof above my head and all that live beneath it.
I am alive for another year—and that’s a good thing too.
I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for our struggles because I learn from them
I am thankful for the love I share and the friends I have.

I am thankful for the old chapters that close and the new ones that open.

There are certain things in life, which escape our grip—like a moment, or an unsaid goodbye, or apology. I cannot explain why people come in or out of our lives. But with everything there is a reason. I believe there is a lesson that comes with every introduction. There is something that can be gained with every conversation and there is something that can be learned with every goodbye.
I am thankful for these lessons because they have taught me the importance of speaking my mind to those I care for. Otherwise, life would happen and another moment would escape my grip without saying, “I love you,” or “I’m sorry,” and, “Goodbye.”

Perhaps saying these things more often would prevent the guest list at holiday dinners from dwindling in size.

But in any case
I am thankful for this; my morning ritual.
I am thankful for my morning routine and for the words I type.
I am thankful for what I gained and what I’ve lost.
I’m thankful for the coffee in my cup and the breakfast in my belly.
I’m thankful for the sunrise, which has officially made its debut.
And also, I’m thankful for you

I love you . . .

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!


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