thanksgiving to me…

the preparations always start on wednesday, this includes preparations for sweet potato casserole, watergate salad (my mom makes this) and a couple other vegetable dishes. it’s usually a little stressful, but i wouldn’t have it any other way. on thanksgiving morning, in the midst of cooking, showering, and getting ready for the day, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is always on the television. when my sister still lived here, we ALWAYS, without fail, watched the Parade and then Miracle on 34th Street. it was our tradition. and it is one every year i think about and cherish. now, we wait and watch it on a weekend before Christmas.

after the movie ended, we packed everything up and headed to my grandmother’s, where all 30 of us would gather in the crazy, tiny kitchen at her house. [it’s a lot easier now…she lives in a bigger house and there are fewer people who attend .] thanksgiving at my grandmother’s is always chaotic. before the food is served, my dad always carves the turkey. after my grandfather passed when i was little, my dad was the only male in our family, so the task became his and is also another memory i cherish. i also love it because he lets me taste the turkey before we actually serve it to everyone.

once the turkey is carved and all the food is ready, my whole family, which at its smallest is 18 people but can be up to 30+, gathers in a circle. we hold hands, sing kum-ba-yah, and pray together out loud. ok, not really. just joking. we do gather in a circle and normally my grandmother picks a couple people out to share what they are most thankful for in their life. it’s usually very humbling and it usually means my dad and everyone else starts crying. we’re a very loud and emotional family.

afterwards, someone is usually asked to pray. that’s my favorite time. a time of reverance before the Lord to thank him for where we are, what we’ve been through, where we’re going and what we have in our life. it always reminds me of the verse, “For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) that’s how i feel. i feel gratitude. i feel love. i am humbled. and in that short prayer time with my whole family, i am grounded.

though this years will be different and it won’t involve my grandmother’s house or lots of dishes. it will involve my family and i simply couldn’t ask for more. we will celebrate the goodness of God and his grace and mercy in our lives tomorrow at the hospital. all 17 members of my family are coming, dressed for television, where we will enjoy our meal in the cafeteria. i am predicting there will be lots and lots of tears. smiles. and lots of overwhelming thankfulness. we are thankful for this journey, though it be one we wouldn’t have wanted. we are thankful. it has brought a renewed sense of hope. faith. and love. love above all. tomorrow, we celebrate all the aforementioned and life. we celebrate tyler’s life. we don’t know what the future holds for my little buddy, but today, we are thankful.

just a little glimpse into my thanksgiving. i hope yours is as special and memorable as mine.


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