A Time To Give Thanks


This is the time of year that inspires us to examine our lives with a closer look and make a checklist of what we are truly thankful for. No matter what your religion or your background, Thanksgiving has become a national holiday where we are reminded to take an inventory of the many blessings we often take for granted.

We are taught from a young school age about the difficult ocean journey of the pilgrims clamoring for a better life- a life of freedom. We all can also recall the story of the pilgrims and the Indians joining together and bowing their heads in prayer before sharing a meal. These are the pictures embedded in our heads, along with the Norman Rockwell images of an apron clad mother serving a bronzed turkey on a platter to a room full of happy smiling relatives. Unfortunately, we are too far removed from the Pilgrims to have them truly hold significance for us and the latter snapshot of a jubilant family may not be our reality.
So what has Thanksgiving become? Somehow it has become squeezed between Halloween and Christmas and has lost much of its importance. With families scattered across the country, often they are unable to be together on this day. I think family is who you make to be your family. We have some very close friends that I would be happy to share any holiday with and who truly are family in every sense of the word.
For the last few years my husband and I have found ourselves without our children on Thanksgiving, as they spent time with the families of their significant others. At first it was difficult being a mother on a holiday without my children, no matter who else I was with. But life is full of changes and if we don’t move along with them, they will come despite us. I have also learned that when a holiday comes it is easy to get focused on all I don’t have or all the ideal situations I wish were mine. I realize that I need to consciously spend some time and actually count my blessings, so I can look at my cup as half filled. For those of you with a chronic illness, I understand how difficult this may be- all the more reason to actually make yourself a list. Below I will share mine with you, they range form the obvious to the mundane. Perhaps my list will spur you on to make your own.
I am thankful for the health of my family. Despite my daughter’s Lupus, I am grateful that she has been doing so well this year.
I am thankful for being married for 34 years- It has not been an easy journey.
I am thankful for my teaching career- also 34 years. (It has been easier than being married.)
I am thankful for my family and for all of the moments we have shared together. There is nothing in this world that I cherish more.
I am thankful for my mother, who at the age of 80, is still around to always make me feel special, beautiful and young.
I am thankful for my home this year more than ever. As I watched hurricanes ravaged parts of our country, the value of my home has never been made more significant.
I am thankful for my friends, a group of fabulous women, who have listened to me talk, laugh and cry through the years.
I am thankful for my daughter’s engagement to a wonderful supportive man. I wish her at least 34 years!
I am thankful for hot cups of tea, especially those made for me with love by someone else.
I am thankful for flowers- all kinds. My mom, the practical one, never liked flowers because they would eventually die. I am happy for the time that they live.
I am thankful for so many good foods that not just taste good, but make me feel good all over- real mashed potatoes, ice cold watermelon, Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, strawberry ice cream with chunks of strawberries, pizza, fresh whipped cream, a juicy steak. The list could go on and on….
I am thankful for my country, no matter who is in office and who I may or may not agree with. I am thankful I can vote and go to whatever church I want to go to.
I am thankful that my God loves me no matter how many times I screw up.
I am especially thankful for the days I have lots of energy- lately thay are at a premium.
I am sure there are lots more, but you get the idea. Sit down and write your own list. I feel better already. I think I’ll go make myself a cup of tea and look for a Milano cookie.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Written by: Janet Miserandino (Christine’s Mom)

  • susan

    I was just wondering how my fellow lupies handle the dilemma of Thanksgiving, do you have others to your house and cook, travel the hours to someone elses house. I am becoming stressed over having family staying at my home but yet traveling seems almost as difficult, missing my bed, comforts at home to help me through pain. any thoughts. thx

  • Sacredjinx

    You’ve just inspired me to write a list of my own. I shall head over to my blog and get to it. Should be a nice opener for the day! Thank you for this!

  • Over here in Australia, I am thankful for stone fruit season! And the warmer weather, so I can live off stone fruits!