Giving Thanks is Long Overdue

Today, most people across the U.S. are gathering with their families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, maybe watch some football. When I lived in St. Augustine, Florida as a college student there were many great, great people who invited me over to their homes. As a foreigner, I knew about this tradition through TV shows and films, but it proved to be so much more once I became a part of it. I will never forget how loving and giving people were and how good the food was.

Since I moved to Amsterdam, I haven’t celebrated this holiday. However, I want to use this space to give thanks.

I’m grateful for my mother. I’m grateful for her unconditional love. I’m grateful for her emails filled with concern, mom-like advice, smiles, hugs and kisses. I’m grateful that she misses me, because I miss her too. I’m grateful to have her as an example of strength, intelligence, and perseverance. Growing up all I wanted was my father to accept me for who I am, but my mother not only accepted me, but has always respected me for who I am, and respects and supports who I have become.

I’m grateful for my friends, the ones that are far and the ones that are close. I once read that to have good friends, you have to be a good friend too. I’m grateful to have met people who have taught me about love, how to listen, when to speak. I’m grateful for the warm embraces and at times the harsh truth, because someone had to say it out loud.

I’m grateful for all the women in my family. From my grandmother to my aunts, to my cousins. I’m amazed by their beauty, and thankful that they have shared their wisdom, joy and sadness with me.

I’m grateful to have found my equal. I’m grateful for his understanding and patience. His love is probably the only thing that keeps me going in this rainy country.

I’m grateful for my brother. He’s brave. He has the biggest, kindest heart I know.

Sometimes it’s very easy to forget the good things in our lives. At least, I tend to focus on the things that are not going well, or not going my way. I like this tradition, this opportunity to give thanks to those who make all the difference.

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