Inspirational MusingsWeekly Column

In ALL Things, Give Thanks

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Posted By christyadams008

As Thanksgiving approaches, my mind is filled with memories from childhood. Every Thanksgiving Thursday, we alternated years between grandparents. Then the Friday afterward, we went to the other grandparent’s home. My dad’s side was overrun with cousins to play with, and we always had some sort of outside game going. I never stayed inside; there was exploring to do.

My mom’s side was different. The men watched tv, sat on the porch, or repaired something. The women cooked and jabbered in the kitchen. We were the only grandchildren, so my brother and I found things to play with or we visited my great-grandmother’s room in the back of the house and ate all her candy.

After we visited all the relatives, either Friday evening or Saturday, my dad climbed into the attic and pulled down all the Christmas boxes. We spent the rest of the weekend allowing the holiday spirit to explode all over the whole house. Nine nativities. A hand-woven Christmas village under the tree. Hundreds of ornaments, most handmade. Statues. Wall-hangings. A giant tree. It was truly a magical time of the year at our house, with Christmas music blaring the entire time.

The closer Thanksgiving gets this year, the more tears try to fall. We buried the third grandparent in three years last month. Our grandparents have been the center of all our holidays as long as I can remember. And while they were grandparents to me, they are parents to my mom and dad. The center of their world is gone, and while they have tons of good memories, the reality of not getting to make any more looms in the air.

I had visions of holidays in our new home, grandparents and parents both here, healthy and whole. But that’s not how things played out. No matter how well planned my life is, I’m not the one calling the shots.

So, this year is different. Harder. We have empty spots at the table. But we have such fullness in our hearts from all the wonderful years we had with those who’ve already gone. I’m thankful for family. Family that loved so big and so well. A family who taught me the importance of traditions and relationships, laughter, and fun. The family who pointed me to Jesus during each holiday season and continues to pass the tradition onto my children.

Even amidst loss and hardship, there’s still so much to be thankful for. Be sad and miss the ones you love. But then smile at the memories you have. Then turn around and make new memories with the ones still present. And in all things, give thanks, for we have been given so much to be thankful for.

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