Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for the little things!

If there is one thing I have learned in the last few years, it is that I need to be thankful for the little moments as well as the big ones!  (OK, so I am still learning that in reality - but I AM learning!)  Three years ago we spent Thanksgiving in Malawi since we were living there at the time.  I missed my family (and turkey) - but we had just made some new friends who would turn out to e a life line for us, and they invited us to a Thanksgiving in Zomba with some other ex-pats from the USA.  There was no turkey - but there was ham, chicken, and all the trimmings, as well as a a bunch of people that became friends and family there.  Our kids made friends and laughed a lot that day.  I thought that we would spend many more Thanksgivings with this wonderful group of people (as well as other holidays) but that was not to be.

The next Thanksgiving we were back in the States and we had Thanksgiving at my parent's house.  All the siblings were together with our kids, and even though it was loud and chaotic with so many little ones running around in a small space, it was fun.  It was the perfect day, as we played games, laughed, ate, and laughed some more.  I remember not wanting to leave.  But I figured that we would have many more holidays together.  Once again I was wrong.

 (Me and my sisters!)
(The cousins! )

This Thanksgiving I was again with my family in that same house, but without my mom.  Though we spoke of her and definitely missed her, she would have been very happy to see the smiling faces, the friendships that are blooming between cousins, and the bond that her daughters have.  She would have loved hearing the giggles and outright cackles from playing games together, the good-natured teasing, and the friendly banter that happened around the table.  I loved it - it was a blast!  The kids are getting a little older, and they play well together so the adults can also "play" together for a while!  We played Pictionary Telephone (Thank you, Travis and Amy for teaching us that game!), Dutch Blitz, and Last Word - sometimes with the kids and sometimes just us grownups!  And once again I did not want the night to end.  But I am learning to be thankful for the times that I have with my family and friends and not worry about the future or focus too much on the past!

I do not know what the future holds for us - where we will be over the next few Thanksgivings.  I certainly hope it involves friends or family, games, and laughter.  I just know that I will embrace each of these times that I have with people I love.

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