This year especially I feel like I have so much to be thankful for but the words just don’t seem to want to flow. I don’t know if it’s because I’m feeling tired or that I’m not wholly in the mood to write or what…
There’s the obvious things. I’m thankful for my restored health. Both on the weight-loss front as well as the cancer front. I don’t take either lightly. And I firmly believe I wouldn’t be talking so thankfully about number two if I hadn’t experienced number one to begin with.
But this year, I’m feeling super reflective of how much I appreciate my parents influence on my life. This year (November 14) marks more time that I have spent without my father alive than I had him. 24 years since he’s passed. And 19 for my mom. That’s a long time and a lot of big decisions made without having either to consult. Yet, they still influence every decision I make and every thing I do. My mother was more practical. She had great insight into people and could judge character from a mile away. I have inherited some of that. I am thankful. It serves me well. My father had an adventurous spirit and encouraged me often to not sit idle and to try new things. I get my decisiveness and ability to make rapid decisions (for good or bad) from him.
My brother Sam came down from Oregon to visit my brother Steve in Denver over the weekend. I haven’t seen Sam since 1996. Though moving here caused me to miss the opportunity to see him, my son, Jake, who still lives in Denver, had the chance to visit and meet him for the holiday. I am especially thankful for that.
With my parent departing early and my sibs being spread across the country (and Frank being in a similar situation) our kids did not get the opportunity to grow up near extended family. I’ve always been sad about that. Jake and Sam connected well, which I knew they would. Jake is a lot like my dad in a lot of ways. And so our my dad’s boys. They exchanged numbers and Jake is going to visit with Sam when he goes to Portland next year to meet up with one of his friends. I am thankful for those new bonds.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to get to know others in my own family. This year being in SC and in the house, we were able to invite my cousins over for Thanksgiving dinner. My older cousin, John, is more my brother’s age, so I don’t know him well, and his daughter, Crystal and her two boys joined us this year. It was nice to just sit aroud and chat and get to know each other. I have to say, I really enjoyed the time together.
The day after Thanksgiving we stuck to tradition and put up our Christmas decor. Before moving here I promised Kenzie in the new house, since it would be so much larger than where we came from, we could make the house literally “throw up” Christmas. I think we did pretty darn well.
From two Christmas trees to the garland on the banister to lights outside, our house definitely feels every bit like Christmas. And I love it so much. It gives me time to reflect each morning under the soft lite of the tree what I am thankful for. My family, my friends, my parent’s influence, my health, my life and most of all my testimony of God. Without that, none of the other areas of thanks would be as full.