This year I have a lot for which to be thankful. I should rephrase that. This year it seems that I am more aware of those things. A lot of changes occured this past year. We had been living with my parents for almost a year after a job loss. Now we are blessed to have a job, a house and to be surrounded by wonderful people. I have a wonderful husband, who gave me a wonderful surprise tonight. I have had the privilege of giving birth to 3 precious children and the blessing of raising two of them every day. As tomorrow approaches I am left sitting here with memories--which seem to be what I am most thankful for--the past.
"Black Friday". Before all the craziness and stampedes occured, my Nanny, my Mom, my Sister and I would all go shopping together. We would get up really early (around 6:00 in those days) and we would bundle up (we were in Indiana) and stand in lines before the stores opened. We'd race through the crowds to get our goodies and tackle the next store. It was such a wonderful time together. Nanny always took lots of pictures. As you can imagine it was quite embarrassing with all of the crowds! I don't look too happy in a lot of the pictures--this just wasn't "cool". Now, my Nanny suffers from Alzheimers. I wish we could go back to those days and share one more outing. We still take her shopping but it sure is different. I am thankful for the memories I have and hope that my daughter has memories like this one day.
This is also the first Thanksgiving without my grandpa, Papa. As my only grandpa, he has a special place in my heart. He always carved the turkey for thanksgiving. He was always waiting at the door when we pulled up and had a warm hug for you. Before the meal he would always have us hold hands and he would express his sentiments. It seems like he could always make me cry--the patriarch of the family speaking his wisdom and thanks for family being together, for health and for love. It wasn't anything profound but simply his heart and positive outlook. It will be a different Thanksgiving without Papa. He is so dearly missed. I am thankful, though, for the years we did have with him.
It just feels like a very different year, as I get older and traditions change. I miss the old times. But maybe what I miss most is the innocence of those days. The days when grandparents didn't age and health didn't fail. I'm not trying to be a "Debbie Downer." I really am thankful. It just seems to me that this year I am most thankful for the memories of the past and the strong heritage of my past that sticks with me.
Give your loved ones a hug and tell them you love them!