We love Thanksgiving.
Our family has a tradition, if you have ever shared a meal with us, you are aware we – guests included – hold hands at the beginning of every meal and go around the table and share one or two (or three!) things we are grateful for today. (In other words, James is not allowed to say “I am thankful mom and dad are taking me to the movies tomorrow”). Michael and I are so grateful that we followed through on this one habit and have continued this practice at every meal we have together. It does two things, slows down our minds and gets us into the moment, just today, and acknowledging our gratitude specifically out loud. Actually naming those things, miracles, simple acts of kindness, bounty, peace.
In reflecting on the coming celebration of thank-full-ness, I am feeling bitter sweet. I am so thankful Michael and I have accepted the gifts God has offered us through miracles, other people and hard work and we can live this wonderful life we love on our boat in the tropics. At the same time, it is our first Thanksgiving away from family. Last year, we were just barely still home for T-day. And we have so much more family this year to be thinking of! Our new granddaughter Chloe, Juliana, daughter Danielle and sons Joey and Mikey, my neices Aubrey and Emily and her new guinea pig “Prickers”, my sisters Sara and Leah,and brother Mark, my father and Harriet and her family, and of course Mariah’s adpoted Nonnie and Twopa (Patty and Chuck). My friends, Gail, (James’ other mother) and Kim and John, all our friends at the Friday night gathering in Westbrook…the list goes on…
And of course my mother. Thanksgiving was a spiritual event for her. I am not being funny, I mean literally it was her way of serving God in us, her family, and the countless families she helped anonymously through donations of food and assistance and cash over the holidays. Every detail, the place settings, the flowers, the tableclothes, the candles, the garnishes, they were all offerings made with the deepest desire to please God in us. And she did.
So while I cannot be physically close to my family – all of them – know that I am channeling Mama, with service to others, with traditional recipes, with place settings, all served up to God in my family here and in CT and whomever else we can find to share our meal with here at the dock.
I am offering my thanks, in action, to You.