Happy Thanksgiving to all!

We spent yesterday and today at my Mother-in-law’s house. She lost her husband just over a month ago and we wanted to be with her for the holiday. Sitting around the table and saying what we were all thankful for as we began dinner, I could only feel the loss. I looked at each of my children in turn and felt grateful for their shining faces. I suddenly remembered my father saying that all he wanted in the world was for all of us to be safe under one roof. This evening as we had supper at home, I felt very acutely the absence of my oldest son who stayed with Grandma to help her through the next few days. There were six of us at the table, but it felt empty. I now know what my father was talking about.

This Thanksgiving, we are scattered all over. My parents are with my youngest sister and my oldest brother and his wife in one state. My oldest sister and her husband are in another state with their four children (speaking of blessings, more on that later). My youngest brother is in Iraq. My sister-in-law and her husband are away this year. And my father-in-law is no longer with us. Oh for the days when families lived within a stone’s throw of each other and thirty people gathered for dinner.

But enough melancholy. We are blessed beyond measure! All of us are healthy and happy. We have a secure house, enough food, and countless things that multitudes don’t have. I have a wonderful husband, five bright children, a job (nurses pretty much have infinite job security), and a small corner in the heaven-on-earth we call the Orthodox Church. And if everything were taken away tomorrow, I would still be blessed beyond measure. I would have the privilege of having loved some of the most wonderful people on earth, the privilege of having served others and I would have the one thing no one could ever take: my faith in God.

So to everyone out there, Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks be to God for his immeasurable blessings and mercy!

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