Thanks Giving

Nov 21, 2012 by

Thanks Giving

As I bustled around the condo preparing for work this morning, I noticed my husband staring at his laptop, his brow knitted in worry.

“What are you fretting about?”

He sighed. He suddenly not only discovered that he had to attend an overnight conference immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday, but that, along with a childhood picture of himself, he needed to provide the hosts some anecdotal, pithy “fun fact” about himself to be shared too. Three of them.

I couldn’t believe he was racking his brain about it. After asking him what he’d already written, I rattled off at least five additional intriguing things in five seconds.
“Babe,” I rolled my eyes. “You’re one of the most interesting people I know!”

That I say it and mean it after a lifetime together is more than enough reason for me to give thanks.

I talked to my mom-in-love yesterday and learned that Grandma was strong enough to sit with her and visit awhile instead of taking to her bed and sleeping the day away. I give thanks for that.

Tomorrow, God willing, Marc and I get on a plane to our birthplace of California. In addition to being grateful for the opportunity to get some sunshine after a week of rain in Seattle, my heart is nearly bursting from the anticipation of seeing my family there. My Billie Jean, son Cole, brother Vinnie, sissy-in-love Alison, niece Charis, sissy Monique, brother-in-love Keith, nieces Jaya and Faith, sissy and best friend Monique, soul son Zion . . . the list goes on and on and on. It will be good to be home, embraced in the unconditional love and dysfunction of family, and reminded – in a most tangible way – of how wonderfully I’ve been blessed. There is a “thank you” percolating in my heart.

Admittedly, there is some sadness too. While most of our clan gathers, some are unable to. My dad, Brother Bob, is too fragile for the robust demands of travel. My oldest son Ry and That Girl are homebound in Norman, obligated by the demands of Sooner football first downs and touchdowns. My family in Dallas, too great in number and spirit to call by name, will be in Texas celebrating with one another. I long for them. I regret that they won’t be there creating memories, laughing and loving easily, and sharing in what will undoubtedly be a wonderful meal prepared by the loving, talented hands of my sissies. But even in that, I give thanks.

There is something tender, something achingly lovely about a heart capable of loving from afar. It means there’s no contingency on the affection, no conditions for the devotion. I don’t need you here, to do anything for me, to meet a need, in order to love you like I do . . . which leads me to this.For those I love who, in the most physical sense, are no longer with me on this planet, I’m thankful for your memory. I’m thankful that I ever got the chance to express love to you. I’m thankful for the feeling in my heart that is bitter with your absence and sweet at your remembrance. I give thanks that within the pain of loss hides a sacred invitation to gratitude for ever having loved at all.Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I pray your joy is complete.

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