I have much to be thankful for. My daughters. My mother. My family and my friends. My memories.
Thanksgiving Day allows me to bring my appreciation to the forefront of my thoughts.
I'm grateful for my family:
Over the past few weeks, I've thought a lot about Thanksgiving 2005 when we were thankful for the simplest of things. We were still living in a hotel, without a home, but we'd found our family again, we had each other, we had a roof over our heads, and we had our lives. There was much left to be done but the peace and love amongst us overflowed. Of course, we are like any other family, but, in the end, we love one another and I'm glad to call them my family.
I'm grateful for my mother and my daughters:
I listened to two songs tonight that made me feel nostalgic: Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings and Celine Dion's Because You Loved Me. The first always brings to mind my mother and the second makes me think of my daughters. When my oldest daughter was a baby, I had to dance with her to put her to sleep. She'd laugh and giggle at the faster dances and, as we began to wind down, we ended the night with the Celine Dion song. It worked like magic and she'd fall asleep quickly, her cheek on my shoulder, her arms around my neck. Perhaps, the songs are interchangeable when I think of my mom and my girls. All four of them give me wind beneath my wings and I am all that I am because they love me. And because I love them.
I'm grateful for my friends:
Most of my old friends scattered to all points north, south, east, and west after Katrina but I've met new friends who have given me new memories and new experiences. I cherish all of you.
I'm grateful for my memories:
In our house, the day after Thanksgiving we began decorating for Christmas. It is as much of a tradition as Thanksgiving itself, one I grew up with and then have continued with my girls. Right after Christmas, we'd bring out the Mardi Gras decorations, listen to the songs, get ready for the balls and the parades, and eat King Cake. Thanksgiving not only brought our family together but it began a holiday season stretching to Fat Tuesday.
As I've gotten older, I've learned to take time each day to ponder my blessings. Each small appreciation reminds me of the bigger picture and of just how lucky I am to have the people who are in my life and to live in one of the greatest nations in the world.
From my family to yours, may you laugh with abandon, love without fear, and live with wind beneath your wings.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!