As Thanksgiving approaches I can't help but reflect on what has been an incredible year. This time in 2008, we were preparing to leave for a family holiday- what will be a truly wonderful week of love, joy, and reconnection but also a prelude to what will be a great tragedy. And if you had asked me six months ago, "what are you thankful for this year?" I worry that a pause would precede a stock answer, "my family, my friends, my job." And that this stock answer would serve as little more than a cover for anger over my uncle's unexpected and violent death, my brother-in-law's critical illness, my grandparent's sorrow - so much to question. So few answers provided.
But, in truth, the past few months have been so generous. And my cup overflows with blessings. My relationships have grown stronger. I understand the importance of honesty, integrity and friendship. And so now when I am asked, "what are you thankful for this year?" my list is long and uncensored.
I am of course thankful for this child growing inside me. This child for whom Chris and I barely had time to whisper, "we wish" before we conceived.
I am thankful for my new home. An apartment that seems to have opened up her doors and said, "I have room for you to grow."
I am thankful for the Episcopal church. I am thankful for her open table and her encouraging words. I am thankful that I am allowed to ask questions and not always believe. And, I am thankful for the amazing community within her walls. A community that has embraced us, not in spite of but maybe even because of our high liberal ideals.
I am thankful for family; a brother who is strong and wise. Parents who love fully, deeply and without condition. In-laws whom I have truly grown to cherish.
And I am thankful for the little things. I am thankful for the occasional texts I get from my Aunt , two or three words that always make me smile. I am thankful for walking into my house at the end of the day and seeing Chris and his writing partner sitting across from one another, Macs open and ideas flying across the room. I am thankful that the decision I made years ago to get on craigslist and meet a bunch of strangers who liked to read led me to what has become a wonderful group of friends. I am thankful that my cat is healthy. And I am thankful for this remarkable city; a rest stop that became home.