Give Thanks!

It’s that time of the year when we gather with our loved ones to share a Thanksgiving meal. For many of us, Thanksgiving means feasting on massive amounts of food, four-day weekends, football games, floats, family reunions, or a forerunner to Christmas festivities.
While we are busy doing all the cooking and celebrating, lets not forget to be thankful. Last Thanksgiving, I lost a very special person in my life. My beautiful friend Josephine, one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met passed away. She was one of those people that made everyone she came in contact with feel special and loved. I’m not sure she knew this even though I had told her repeatedly how amazing she was, but she was someone that really impacted my life. I’ve learned some great lessons from her, even after her death. I strive to be like her and my mother whom I am lucky to have. Josephine was so filled with love. So rich with kindness. Her three beautiful daughters remain heartbroken but filled with her never ending love. I spent Thanksgiving last year broken hearted for her loss. Although it’s one of my favorite holidays, there are so many loved ones that are gone that come to mind during this time. I can wallow in my sadness but instead I choose to focus on the present and cherish the ones that I have with me.
Ever since my daughter can read and write, we’ve been writing a grateful list on Thanksgiving. This is a practice we try to do weekly but it’s a must on Thanksgiving. This year, we will try a new way of being thankful. We plan on writing a grateful note to each member of our family. Now you may think, “that’s a lot of writing” and it is, but sometimes you have to sit, think and put pen to paper in order to really realize just how much you have.
Maybe you can do something similar with your family. This year when you gather with loved ones, try to pay attention to who is sitting around you instead of what’s on the table. Focus on how fortunate you are to share a meal with your family and friends. Take the time to tell them how much they mean to you. Really, look at what you have!
We live in the most amazing country, so be thankful. Most of us have a warm house to shelter us from the cold, our refrigerator is stocked with food. We’ve got running water, a TV in almost every room, warm showers and our closets are bursting with clothes.
Yet many of us still want more. We want bigger homes, better cars. We feel envious of others who seem to have it all. If you take time to really look into what makes you happy you realize that you have it all. Don’t compare yourself with others, you don’t know what is going on in their lives. You have everything that you need and that’s what you have to realize.
It’s not about the things you have, it’s about the ones you love.

It’s about the moments of happiness that you experience with your family.

A pillow fight with your child, a phone call to a good friend, the one you can tell your secrets to. I’ve got a few of those and I cherish them.

I also have an amazing cousin and sister I can fight with, yell at and despite it all, I know that they will always be there for me.

My husband is the person that always cushions my falls. Laughs at me when I am ridiculously angry and irrational. Loves me despite the fact that I have gained weight!

My parents provide me with unconditional love and guidance to this day. I’m blessed to have them both.

The love and protection of my siblings, my sister’s in law.

The adoration of my child.

My health and the health of my loved ones.

These are my greatest reasons to be thankful. I’m sure you have your own list.
Find a quiet place, take in your surroundings and be thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving!