Being Thankful and….Squirrel!!

I had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  I am blessed, and as a couple we are blessed, with being god parents – many times over.  And each of our godchildren is truly a blessing in our lives.  We are constantly in prayer for them and have spent many hours talking with them and praying for each of them over the years.  One of my god daughters flew up for 5 days with us, in a whirlwind visit that began on Monday and ended on Friday.  She is 26 and I was pleasantly surprised she would even think to spend her time with us, but she did and it was wonderful.  Her mom and I were college roommates and my god daughter and I have a unique relationship.  I mother her at times, but I am mostly a friend.  And it is a pleasure for me to have her in my life, as I have no daughter of my own.  We spent some time sight seeing (her first time in Seattle) and lots of time just talking – and yes, laughing! Squirrel!! Ha-Ha! She kept me smiling for 5 days!!

We were blessed to join some friends for Thanksgiving that we have known more than 30 years.  They were in our wedding and are the god parents to our oldest son; we are god parents to their youngest daughter.  (It was fun introducing our god daughters to each other!!) This has been an enduring friendship and one we treasure so much.  We were so happy they included my god daughter in their celebratory invitation.  Their 4 children all are within her age range, so we all expected it to be a success.  The food was amazing; the company even better.  There were people in attendance from all over the ethnic and social and religious gamut.  The conversation was stimulating and wild at times.  They have a wonderful tradition where whoever is in attendance signs the table cloth. It is neat to see each year how the signatures have grown.  The host made a comment that it’s almost time to get a new table cloth, as we are running out of signature space!  We had foods from all sorts of cultures, as well. I brought a Greek Salad and some apple and mince pie (Mince is a British tradition); others brought bread and wines, pies and side dishes.  One couple brought appetizers that were amazing; another family prepared Polish dishes for us all to try.  The host family included people in their invitation who had never experienced a Thanksgiving meal before.  It was awesome!

At the start of the meal, we stood in a very large circle (there were close to 30 people there) and passed a Blessing Cup around, each person giving thanks.  It ended with one of their guests, a Polish Priest, blessing the meal in Polish/Dominican style.  We then sat down for about 2 hours, having a lively discussion at two tables.  My god daughter joined right in and felt very comfortable.  It was a delightful evening and we are forever grateful to have shared it with so many amazing people.

Afterward, my god daughter made some amazing statements.  Among them were:

*This is the first time I have ever felt welcome by an entire family.  There are usually hold-outs, you know, those who feel forced to be there but are emotionally absent?  Not in this family. It was amazing.

*This is the kind of Thanksgiving I always wished I could have, and have never experienced before,  and this is the type of Thanksgiving I want when I have my own family.

*I am putting in my reservations for next year.  Only next year, I am arriving on Wednesday and staying much, much longer.

*I haven’t enjoyed such stimulating conversation in, well, in I can’t remember when.

*I could talk football and not feel weird about it. It was nice.

*This was the most amazing Thanksgiving I have ever had.

And I have to say, for all these things, I am truly grateful.  If we can touch one heart, just one heart, we can change the world.  I think that our friends showed all of us how opening up our homes and our families to a wide variety of people only enhances our experiences and only makes what we have that much more special.  I feel like this was an amazing experience, in that I was shown that feeling of belonging and thankfulness from a completely different perspective and it made me re-evaluate what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for enduring relationships – my husband, our incredible children, our amazing god children, and friendships that have lasted through decades of life’s experience.  We moved two states away from our comfort zone, two years ago.  This year, it felt like we were home….and we are so thankful for each moment of being here. God is good!!

As we move into Christmas, I am holding on to these most recent memories and the joy I witnessed in the eyes and face of my god daughter. I am so thankful for friends who impact us along life’s journey, and choose to share their lives with us.  I am prayerful my god daughter was able to witness some amazing people in action, to appreciate all the differences, and to hunger for more of the same.  And at Christmas, I pray we all don’t get distracted (Squirrel!) from what it is we are celebrating – be Thankful for the GIFT of LOVE this Christmas…the thankfulness that started last Thursday as we remembered our blessings and the most amazing Country we live in, and will continue through to Little Christmas, Epiphany, (January 5th) when the Wise Men bore their gifts to the Christ Child.

I am thankful…

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