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Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Spirit of Thanksgiving

It's the end of November, Turkey Day, Thanksgiving. A time to celebrate the harvest, the long year, friends, family, good food, and everything we are thankful for. Here's my short list.

1) I'm thankful my husband gets to eat with us today. The past two years he's spent Thanksgiving overseas working with the army and sheiks in Iraq to promote peace and stability. We lost friends there. His best friend was killed by a sniper. Men he trained were killed delivering food. Every night for 15 months I went to sleep not knowing if tomorrow the men in uniforms would be at my door, in tears, trying to tell me he wasn't coming home.

Today he's in his dress blues serving dinner to his men. He's grandfather, a retired Chief Petty Officer from the navy is with him. We'll eat a little but late, but they are happy to serve. And at least he's home.

2) I am thankful that my children are healthy and happy. Both are skinny and the Eldest doesn't speak English so well. But they are cheerful, loving, considerate children who don't fight and don't bully other people. They get into trouble coloring on walls sometimes. And they can both be a handful. But I'm not sitting at a hospital with them today. Despite both being a little early neither has the health problems some premmie babies have. And they don't have Scarlet Fever like my friend's son has (Sam, I still want to know how you managed that!)

3) I am thankful for strong friends. I know people from everywhere. I've watched them lose family to death and divorce. I've seen them climb mountains, go through dark valleys of sorrow, and fight battles alone. I've been a shoulder to cry on, and I've gone to them to cry. There are some amazing women out there. Next time you see a mom taking the time to raise a child, thank her. When you see a wife supporting her husband and loving him through his faults, thank her. When you see a military spouse, or police spouse, who is both mother and father, nurturer and disciplinarian, guardian and enforcer of the home, thank them. Behind that cheerful smile and the neatly penciled in calendar book is a person who needs recognition and thanks.

4) I am thankful for good family. We have four generations here for dinner tonight. The kids dragged the old photo albums out and named everyone who didn't make it for Thanksgiving. They know their family. They know that they are loved by a large group, that they are supported in hard times and cheered on whatever they do.

5) I am thankful for security. There's a lot of chaos and noise out in the world. People are worried, they're scared. They're hurting people and hiding. We aren't part of that. I wouldn't mind a little extra cash, I don't know anyone who would, but the bills are paid and there's food on the table. We don't have a jet set lifestyle, but my husband has a job that he won't ever lose that allows me to stay at home with the kids and write. We have health insurance whenever we need it. And we have a roof over our heads. And, most importantly, we know who we are and where we are going. We're not struggling through life looking for answers. Even on the bad days, there is a measure of peace and safety.

What are you thankful for?


  1. Thank you for sharing, Lei. Your list is truly a blessing. You are a strong, wise, and intelligent woman who knows what she wants and where she's going. I admire you in so many ways.

    I hope your day is filled with happiness and smiles, despite the stresses a holiday can bring.

    *sends hugs and warmth your way*

  2. Love you lei too :) Well said.

    Ditto lei. And despite my health, I'm very lucky cos I could be worse off.

    Thankful for everything in my life, so ignore my moanings :)