It starts when we're young. Older adults shape our lives. They teach us about love...and gratitude. In some of my very earliest memories, I was taught to say "please" and "thank-you". It's a basic concept for most of us. Human decency, kindness, thoughtfulness. I like to think that I do a pretty good job, most of the time, remembering, to express my thanks.
But today is a special day. Today is a day where the acknowledgement and expression of gratitude is the focus, for all of us. It's an entire day set aside to focus on honoring and thanking those who have, in ANY way, touched our lives as well as the many blessings that we have for which we don't always remember to be as grateful as we might be. It's a celebration of the harvest and "gathering". Gathering of friends and family. A "drawing near" of those people and things most dear to us.
For me, this day means gathering family: my parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, a grand-niece (and grand-nephew on the way), new friends, as well as my own, immediate, family for a meal and conversation, some card playing and laughter.
I'm blessed. I know this. Today, however, I am reminded in a special way. I am thankful for families who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who have empty chairs at their table this year. Loved ones who are no longer with us, those who are fighting for our freedom far away from home. Friends, relatives and "friends that I haven't met". Those who are fighting depression, illness, joblessness, homelessness and other forms of loss or hardship. I pray, for all of us. Blessings, and circumstances change but there are always things to be thankful for.
Today, I honor everyone who touches my life: family and friends. Some are in my life because we're related, some are in my life by choice. I'm thankful that they choose to allow me to remain in their lives and them in mine. It's an honor and a blessing.
I'm thankful, too, for our men and women in the armed forces, people who make my life easier like mail carriers, service providers of all kinds. I'm thankful for good health, a steady job, a roof over my head, food on the table. Simple pleasures, some....blessings, all.
So, to you and yours from me and mine. Thank you, for touching my life and for sharing the journey with me.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing a couple of shots of my table this year. Details on Friday. My family's here!