In the weeks and days leading up to Thanksgiving, many of us reflect on and/or share that for which we are thankful. Some post on Facebook or blogs, some create thankful trees or paper chains, and some discuss their thankfulness over dinner.
My thankful list, which I share on my personal blog and with my family at the dinner table, begins similarly each year:
- I’m thankful for my husband and my children, who are the reason I get out of bed in the morning.
- I’m thankful for our extended families and friends, who support our dreams, cheer us on, and catch us when we fall.
- I’m thankful for my and my family’s health, the roof over our heads, the food on our table, the clothes on our backs, and the ability to give a little of what we have to those less fortunate.
From there I usually go on to express my thanks for slightly less-serious people, places, and things like my public library, my exterminator (I couldn’t live in Texas without him), my cowboy boots, and the slightly cooler fall weather.
But this year, while I was writing my thankful list I was simultaneously watching news coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The stories I heard and the images I saw sent me back to my computer, where my thankful list became much, much longer.
- I’m thankful I know where all of my family members and friends ARE, and that they’re safe.
- I’m thankful for working electricity and hot, running water.
- I’m thankful that I live in an area of the country not frequently impacted by severe weather and natural disasters.
- I’m thankful for the American Red Cross volunteers who have stepped away from their own lives in order to lend a hand to those in need.
- I’m thankful for the American Red Cross organization, which as of 11.16.12, has provided more than 75,000 overnight stays in shelters, served more than 6 million meals and snacks, distributed more than 2 million relief items, and activated more than 300 Emergency Response Vehicles.
- I’m thankful that those affected by Hurricane Sandy seem to have – at least from what I’ve seen on television and heard from those on ground – an incredible strength of spirit and will to overcome. Their stories are powerful and uplifting and remind me that everything and everyone in our lives is worth saying thank you for.
I wish you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings. Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, I hope your day is full of that for which you are thankful, and that you are surrounded by those you love.