Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed and truly grateful

It is so easy to rush right past today. And with all of the Christmas music, decor and sales already starting, I find that it gets harder and harder to truly appreciate Thanksgiving. Truth is that Thanksgiving is probably one of my most favorite holidays of the year. It is easy to love Halloween with all of the imagination and pretend that it offers, and Christmas with the giving of presents, snow and happy little faces on Christmas morning peeking out from behind wrapping paper as they see their special gifts.

Thanksgiving is so special to me, and I am thankful for my family for gifting me the opportunity to pass these values on to my children.

I have been very blessed to have some wonderful women in my life. My mother first off, who has taught me love and compassion. For my aunts who have helped be a part of molding me into the woman I am today. Most of all on this day, I am reminded of my grandmother and her compassion for those in need, and every Thanksgiving I am reminded of her beautiful heart and love for others.

When I was younger, my mother, brother and I lived for the first few years of my life with my grandparents. Each year my grandmother would say a special blessing at Thanksgiving, thanking God for the food that we had before us and she would then pray for those in need and tearfully pray for them to have food this year and not go hungry. Being little, it may not have always made sense to me what she was talking about, but those words always stayed with me.

Now this could have been merely words that were said, thoughts being felt and emotions attributed to the season of family speaking through my grandmother, but it didn't stop there. I noticed year after year that my grandmother would always cook extra food and during our family dinners, she would pack it and send it off with my grandfather. Year after year I would see this and not think anything of it. One year my grandfather allowed me to go with him, and I will never forget this. As we drove to the other side of the city, my grandfather told me of this family who had nothing to eat not only for this holiday but for most of the time. As we approached the house of this family, I really had nothing to compare what I was about to witness. We came into a modest living room that had piles of clothing laying around, no furniture, just clothes. In their kitchen was a table with no chairs. As we laid the food on the table, the mother and the father both cried. I remembered looking at the children still in their pajamas, to young to know what the holiday was about, but still grateful for the food.

I think of this day every Thanksgiving. Although I only went with my grandfather this one year, I do know that my grandparents continued this year after year for many families. I never understood why my grandmother would cry as she said a prayer over Thanksgiving dinner and why it was that she always (still to this day) in her beautiful broken English prayed for those who had no food and that didn't have family to share the holiday with. I am grateful for their beautiful heart and can only hope to be able to give my children what they have given me.

pictures courtesy of Candra George

I have so much to be grateful for, my beautiful family both here and in California. Our amazing friends Patti, Eric, Kaydi, Ken and their family who have opened up their family and home to us this Thanksgiving. My amazing grandmother and her giving heart, and my loving grandfather who is in heaven. I never want to forget what God has given me, and although I try as I might to remind myself and our family of this each and everyday, I am grateful for Thanksgiving to be a yearly reminder to take a moment and remember all that we are blessed with.

pictures courtesy of Candra George

I hope and pray that all of you have a safe and amazing Thanksgiving and that you are reminded of what you are truly grateful for today!

1 comment:

  1. rock on sister, love you xoxoxo I made a thksgiving post like this too! xo