Thanksgiving is my husband Jeremy's favorite holiday, and I like it a lot too. Every Thanksgiving's been a little different for me, what with moving, a changing family and life. No matter where I'm at, it's a day to reflect on family and what I've been blessed with.
This morning, I was watching Good Morning America and a report brought tears to my eyes.....a fortunate few American troops have made it home for the holiday. They showed two dads surprising their young daughters at school....these precious little ones were just beside themselves with excitement. I've known families in this situation, and I can sympathize, but I can't say I really know how they feel. The closest I come is when Jeremy teaches piano lessons until nine at night--this is after working an office job from 8 to 5--and John throws a fit, yelling, "Daa-DEEE!" It has to be so hard to be separated by so many miles.
I just got off the phone with my mom. She's a restaurant manager in Florida's tourism industry, leaving for another 11-hour day. I told her how sad I am that she has to work holidays. Fortunately, she's looking to transfer. I can't afford a plane ticket to Florida at that most expensive time anyway, but I look forward to the day I can spend Thanksgiving with her again.
In college, I majored in music, and one of our classes was Sightsinging. It's exactly what it sounds like--develop your ear and music reading skills by singing a song you've never seen. The day before Thanksgiving, we did this hymn called "Thanks-Living." I know it sounds really corny, but there's tremendous value in being thankful for what we have. If we lived this way every day, we'd all be better off.
I graduated from college nine years ago, and like a lot of people in their thirties, life has not always met my high expectations. There are many things in my life that are what I'd call "less than ideal." It's hard to look at a messy, disorganized house and long for the time and energy to clean it. It's hard to put your child in daycare to work a low-paying clerical job, knowing that every hour takes you away from your family and your creative goals. It's hard to continue your writing career in stolen spare moments--so rare that I sometimes pray for John to take a longer nap. And still I wonder--will my artistic dreams, and those of my husband, be realized? Life holds few guarantees.
But I still feel like I have a lot. First of all, I have a husband who loves me, which is more than a lot of people can say. He's not in Iraq--he's sleeping in our bed, enjoying a rare day off. We'll soon have two wonderful sons. What a privilege, to play a part in givng the world two more movers and shakers. We and our beautiful, healthy toddler have a choice of where to go for Thanksgiving dinner. We'll be at Jeremy's parents here in town, but we could have gone down to my dad and stepmom's farm in Kentucky (we go there on alternating years). We're having a huge spread, and I get to eat for two! Our cars are old, but they still run. Our house is small, but the mortgage is current.
And I thank God for all this. And I thank America, for being a place where we have the power to improve our fortunes. And I promise to think about all these things the next time I get up at six for a short shower (owing to our tiny hot water tank). Thanks. For being alive.
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