Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Faith of our Fathers

Tonight, the night before Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for about 152,000 things. So, a list.

I am thankful for The Viking...for the way he makes me laugh, for the way he holds me when I have a nightmare, for the way he thinks everything I do is simply wonderful, the way he tells me all day long how pretty I am and the way he remembers so many things I love. I love the way his eyes sparkle when he's doing something he loves and the way he giggles in the cutest, most impish way. I love the way he supports me in all things I want to do and the way he encourages me.

I am thankful for my son. Nathan Michael has brought so much peace and joy and sweet chaos to my life. He gives sweet, slobbery kisses and insists, quite stubbornly I might add, on snuggles several times a day. I am thankful for his curiousity, his downright silly sense of humor and the kind way he treats people.

I am thankful for two silly, clumsy, odd dogs.

I am thankful for Reece. Having him in our life is such a blessing and goes a long way to filling the hole we have in our hearts from not having more children.

I am thankful for my Salvation and for my close relationship with our Lord. I'm thankful for my church family, who always greet me with hugs and love. I'm thankful for old, traditional hymns and for the bible.

I am thankful for all my wonderful extended my family. My Jersey Mama and my stepdad, my dad and my stepmom, my in laws, my sweet wonderful brothers in law, my niece and nephews, my aunts and uncles, my Nany and the siblings I have through her family, and everyone else I'm related to by blood or otherwise.

I am thankful for the close circle of friends I have. They say "friends are the family you choose" and I'm so thankful for my family of friends. For instance, tonight as I was covered in pie dough and flour, Reece and Jessie came by and brought me the most beautiful flowers, just because. I am thankful for friends who are so generous and loving.

I am thankful for the old ways, for traditions and homemade bread and pie crust. I'm thankful for our proud American heritage, for the lessons to be found in our past and for the old fashioned and simple joys.

I am thankful for our soldiers who give so generously of their time and sometimes of their lives. And for the sacrifices made by their families day in and day out.

I am thankful for Nebraska. This state makes me feel content and fullfilled and at home. There's a kind of deep, still peace that comes from living someplace you love so much. I'm thankful for corn fields, lakes, old houses and small towns where everybody knows your name.

Finally, I am thankful for a family tradition that my beloved Grandma Hazel started. No one in my family knows where it came from or how it started, but every night on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, she would call all her children and tell them the poem below. My mom would in turn say it to me, and I of course say it to Nathan. Once my Grandma passed away, it became a tradition and something of a "game" in my Mama's family for all the siblings to get together and try to "get" each other first with the poem. This works best for my Aunt Carol who's an East Coaster and can get the West Coasters long before they've had their first cup of coffee! Traditions like these tie us to our past and remind us where we came from. I hope this tradition is never ever lost.

"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, do you know what that means my dear? Of course I couldn't expect you to, you've only been with us a year. You came from my Auntie in Paris, far over the deep blue sea and tomorrow, you'll spend your first Thanksgiving, my beautiful darling, with me."
--Grandma Hazel Hacker's Thanksgiving poem

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