Every holiday my dad answers the phone by wishing the caller a happy day. Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Happy Labor Day... you get the idea. I've listened to him do this all my life, but we've always been on the same side of the phone.
"Happy Thanksgiving," I choked back.
Two words was all he needed to recognize my voice, and I heard the smile in his. For the next hour we played "Pass the phone" with my nine relatives.
I was told that this year our family was not separated by gender. Instead of men in the kitchen and women in the dining room, all nine of them fit around the dining room table. Somebody got the bright idea that they should all share something they're thankful for. I'm thankful I wasn't there for Sap Fest.
Christina: I'm thankful for Jesus.
Aunt: I'm thankful for our family and that we don't fight.
Uncle: [to my aunt] I'm thankful we're not facebook friends.
Grandma: I'm thankful we're all alive and here and...
Mom: I'm thankful Laura loves her college, and they were able to "unbreak" our dog.
Dad: I'm thankful we're all healthy. [insert sappy sermon here]
Grandpa: I'm thankful for your momma and that she puts up with me. I love her.
I've never heard my grandparents express love to each other. Love pats here and there but sassiness is more common. For my grandfather to compliment my grandmother and say he loves her in front of all of those people made Grandma cry. I've seen the video to prove it.
How was your Thanksgiving this year? Was it the typical sweet potatoes, turkey, and pumpkin pie? Was it merely a the precursor to Christmas? Or was it really a time of reflection and thankfulness?
My friend Caitlin is extending Thanksgiving for a year. For the next 365 days she's going to share something she's thankful for. I'd love to be able to do the same thing. Look at every day with the realization that I do have something to be thankful for.
Even when it rains. Even when my suitemates pick on me. Even when my computer refuses to cooperate.
I still can be thankful. I can still tell someone I am thankful for their influence in my life. Thankful for their love. Their smile. Their encouraging word.
I can tell Christ I am thankful for His sacrifice. Thankful for His love. Thankful for His controlling, disciplining hand.
I wasn't going to post about being thankful. After all, it's Thanksgiving. That's kind of the cliche thing to do, right? Wrong. It's something we need to do more often than we do. Not just on the fourth Thursday of November. Be thankful around the year.
Cyber friends, I am thankful for you.