In the attempt to wish Christmas here a little faster, I realize that I've forgotten to spend enough time giving thanks. I have so much to be thankful for, no matter what this and the past few years have brought me. I am thankful that, even though they are no longer here, I had a great Mama and Daddy and Granny. My mama always tried very hard to make holidays special when we were kids, and when we were grown ups, she had no expectations that we would be at her house on those days. She wanted us to make traditions with our own children. My Daddy was not into holidays at all, so it wasn't easy for Mama. She would always make a Thanksgiving meal, but we usually had it for supper because we would eat lunch at Granny's...two totally different meals! Granny's was all the Southern food..dressing, greens, that kinda stuff. Mama's was a hen cooked in a paper bag (she didn't think the 5 of us needed a whole turkey), oyster dressing, and homemade cranberry sauce. Needless to say, I liked Granny's dinner much better, but as a grown up, I realize how much work Mama put into hers. It wasn't the same food we always ate, she worked hard to make it special. I wish I had realized that back then. We have done lots of different things for Thanksgiving since Frank and I have been our own little family. I have had his family come, my family come, spent it apart, travelled and ate our dinner at Cracker Barrell, and spent it with friends. This year, we are spending Thanksgiving with our family...our chosen family, our friends. We are very thankful that we have more than just one type of family. Our family is the four of us...and I want to protect that bond fiercely, it's the ones we were born into, and what I am realizing more and more, it's the ones that God has placed in our lives. We may not be blood kin, but we have a special connection that is held together by the Holy Spirit. So, this Thanksgiving, I know that I will be thinking about the ones in my family that are not with us...I do love them and miss them more and more each day, but I will be sitting at the table with family that has been one of the sweetest gifts I've ever been given. And for that and much more, I am thankful.
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