But, I am also thankful for intangible things. I am thankful for dreams that fuel me onward through the difficult days when I’d rather just quit. I am thankful for memories of a childhood well spent, surrounded by people who loved me and thought I was the world. And, I am thankful for quiet moments that allow nostalgia to whisper these sweet memories, like a lullaby I once knew by heart.
Above all the tangible and intangible, I am thankful for a God who has allowed for all these things to pass. Without Him, I am nothing. With Him, I have everything.
As the years have passed traditions have changed. My heart broke the first year we did not go camping at Fort De Soto for Thanksgiving. I felt like I was losing a part of me. Likewise, as other traditions were altered my heart sank more and more. But, I have realized it was not the places and traditions that I was clinging on to, it was the people that made them. As I get older, so do the people I love most in the world. Some have already moved on into the next life and they are so missed.
I guess what I am trying to say is, even with your differences, please remember to love the members of your family this holiday season. There are families that have been torn apart recently by war and death. There are people who have left their homelands in search for sanctuary, knowing they will never be able to return to their country; the place where they grew up and learned, and laughed, and loved and shared so many memories.
I will be celebrating the holidays in a country that is not my home. The people I love are over 4,000 miles away. I rejoice in the fact that I will be able to return home. I will be with them again, however, not till July. This fact makes me a little sad. My heart swells with joy in this sadness though, because, it is evidence of a life full of love. I am so truly grateful and humbled by all the people who have made my life.