As Thanksgiving nears, I become increasingly aware of all I have to be thankful for. Somethings are huge and often become just the background of my life. I don’t want to become complacent and forget what I have. I am blessed. I live in a country where I am free to speak my mind, worship the way I believe and have friends who have differences that both influence and inspire me.
I am thankful to God for the life I have. I am not rich the way some people might measure riches, but I have something so precious it cannot be bought with gold. The love and support of family and friends. We recently welcomed a new grandson, he is number twenty in the line-up. As I held him in my arms, I came to realize that no matter what number they are, they are all number one in my heart. Whether they were born into the family or came as part of a package deal, they are my grandchildren and I am so thankful to have so many blessings.
As an only child, I was lonely and often had to find ways to entertain myself, I believe that is a big reason why I started writing. When I married my husband, my sexy mechanic, he expanded my family to become our family of six sons. His outgoing mother and sister taught me what it means to be part of a large extended family. My own parents were quiet and a bit shy, preferring to keep to themselves mostly.
My dad’s parents died when I was very young, but his sister stepped in to be a surrogate grandmother to me and later to my children. She did her best to keep the family together and help us know our extended family. She was a vibrant woman who had a big influence on me as a person. I hope she is proud of the woman I have become.
My mother’s parents, especially her mother, was the youngest of four and yet, in many ways she was the glue the kept us all together. I adored my grandmother though we did not always agree. She was a strong woman with a strong, loving spirit and I hope that I’m a little like her.
Each of my sons have given me something precious. They have influenced my thoughts and my writing. They have given me strength and courage. While I know that I have often failed them, I hope they know how much I love and respect each of them. They have taught me to stand up and be brave. Even if you are terrified, do what you know is right. Don’t let someone who says you cannot do have power over what you believe. Don’t give up. Anything worth having takes time, you cannot rush it. Pick your battles, fight the ones that truly matter and don’t let the others steal your joy. Be your own advocate. Believe in yourself even when others do not. Find something to celebrate every day.
As you all prepare to celebrate the holidays, no matter how you celebrate, take a moment to count your blessings. You might find you have more than you ever realized.