Thanksgiving is an important holiday at my house. For one thing, Papananda and I are both major foodies and love to cook, so any holiday that involves preparing and gobbling up a big meal is going to be pretty high on our list. For another, it is one of the few traditions from our childhoods that we have in common. I grew up going to Catholic school and always did the typical Christmas extravaganza; he was raised Jewish and celebrated Hanukkah (which I have since learned isn’t even really that important of a holiday compared to Rosh Hashanah and some of the others, but I digress..). Yet every fourth Thursday in November, we both had a big turkey feast with our families. Which brings me to the most important part about Thanksgiving: spending time with family. Although this year we are keeping it simple with just us three in our new place, I dream of the day we can host a big dinner for both of our families, bringing everyone we love together and creating a special tribe for our kids.
Basically, everything about this day just gives me all the warm fuzzies, but last year’s Thanksgiving was particularly memorable for us. After a two month stay in the hospital, Babananda was released to come home for the first time on Thanksgiving Eve! My family has a tradition of going around the table and each saying one thing we are thankful for before eating our meal. I have always felt that this was special, but I think it wasn’t until last year that I truly understood the meaning of gratitude. Waking up on Thanksgiving morning to a beautiful, healing baby next to me was such a special way to start the day, and I can honestly say I have never been so grateful for anything in my life! Now, one year later, that little boy is crawling, babbling, eating, playing, laughing, and healthier than ever! Thinking back on all that we have been through and every person who has been a part of our journey, I am overcome with love and appreciation. So in honor of the spirit of my favorite holiday, these are the things I am most thankful for.
I am grateful for my husband, who provides for our family and allows me to dedicate myself to our little boy. He is the foundation upon which our family is built and he works so hard for us.
I am grateful for my son, who brings me so much joy and laughter everyday. He makes my heart feel wonderfully full and I am continually inspired by his strength.
I am grateful for my parents, who have given me everything and continue to be the most incredibly supportive people in my life.
I am grateful for my in laws, who made me feel accepted into their family from the very beginning without question.
I am grateful for my grandparents, who have always been so involved in my life and continue to be such a steady presence for my baby.
I am grateful for all my aunts and uncles (and other extended family members), who sent so much love and prayer our way during a difficult time – even when I rarely see many of them.
I am grateful for my three best friends, who have commiserated and celebrated with me almost daily despite the distance between us.
I am grateful for this new city, full of like minded people, that already feels like home.
I am grateful for the privilege of always being fed, clothed, sheltered, and safe. Especially when there are so many in this world who have never had any of those things.
And of course I am so grateful to God for putting all of these special people into my life and providing me with so much, never requiring me to do anything to earn it.
Happy Thanksgiving! What are you grateful for this year?