Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, the holiday of gratitude everyone!
I have a lot to be grateful for, especially as it pertains to my family. Earlier this week we lost my maternal grandmother, Anita. I am grateful for the time I have had with her. With her 9 kids and 27 grandchildren and the fact that she most often lived out of state, It may seem improbable, but I always felt genuinely loved by my grandmother. And not in a generally sweeping “you’re my grandkid and therefore I love you” sort of way, but in a “you’re Danielle Laura, daughter of Mary Ann and Harold and I see your humor and silliness and sweetness and I love you for it” specific, and real sort of way. For that feeling, I will always be grateful.
As is common with a loss, one becomes more acutely aware of how lucky they are for their family. In fact, how lucky I am, I’ve come to realize, simply to have a mother and father at all, let alone two who love me and are always there for me. Not to mention, just a brief car ride away. How lucky I am to have 2 brothers who have always been my best friends too and that one of them gave me a sister-in-law that always just felt more like a sister.
And how lucky I am to have found a husband who was endeared to even my most complex and unattractive qualities, enough to declare that he wanted to be with me forever, and how lucky am I that it so happened that he was also the one I wanted to be with forever?! And how lucky am I that he come with a family with an amazing set of parents and sisters, but also a tremendously loving extended family too.
I’ve come to understand more clearly that family are the people who you can truly count on to be there for you, and perhaps even, the only ones you can really truly count on.
I am grateful because I know that I have that. I know that, if I have a joy to share, or conversely, that I have a sorrow or pain to vent. If I have behaved badly or if I, or one of my brothers, is going through a tough time, I know that my family is going to be there, even if it makes life complicated, or tough, or even just annoying, we will be there. Truth is, you can’t really count on others as reliably.
More than that, no matter what we put each other through, I know I can count on my family to support each other and also, to ultimately leave judgement behind.
So, when considering what I am thankful for this holiday there is not doubt it is for my family: my father Harold, my mother Mary Ann, my husband Westleigh, my brothers HJ and Donald, sister in laws, Lisa, Val and Ky, mother in law Mary and father in law, Mickey and for all of our extended family, I am very grateful and thankful.
Also this year, I’ll be thinking about my aunt Rose on Thanksgiving. My aunt was born and raised in the Philippines and came over here upon meeting and marrying my uncle in the 60’s. With the recent Typhoon, she lost some family members and the ones that were spared are enduring much devastation and tough times ahead and while I am grateful that she was here and spared, I know she must feel so sad not to be able to be with and care for her family and friends that she loves so dearly in her beloved hometown.
On this Thanksgiving, I do not want to take anything for granted. The roof over my head, the food on our table and the family I get to share it with…(both my own and wes’s.)
….and of course the doggy who will be by my side for it all 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
What are you grateful/thankful for today?