I'm thankful for the presence of God...
He was with us during our darkest hours this year and made His presence gently known.
I'm thankful for kindness...the kindness of people who quietly do astounding things without the need nor desire for acknowledgement.
I'm thankful for my mother, who has demonstrated strength and grace in her new, more solitary life.
I'm thankful for my siblings and the comfort of knowing that I'm not alone in losing my father...they understand.
I'm thankful for my husband who has dried more tears this year than ever before in our 32 years of marriage...add to the equation, hormone fluctuation and you have a hero right there.
I'm thankful for my kids, who have upped the ante this year for making mom proud...they are doing life well. I'll always think of them as my kids but I think this year it sunk in that they're all grown up...they're adulting hard and well. I am so proud of them.
I'm thankful for "the cousins". I don't think I could have asked for better nieces and nephews...in the darkest hours they were there...helping and loving and caring. I will never forget it.
I'm thankful for friends who pray, for friends who show up and for friends who read manuscripts and tell me the truth. A friend is a treasure and I am so thankful for each one.
I'm thankful for the nearly 52 years I had with my dad. Rather than be disappointed that he's gone today...I am going to try to be thankful. I'll remember the times he snuck me the first bite of turkey, the way he prayed and thanked God for his family and the food, and his laugh around the dinner table.
And finally (although I could go on and on and on)...
I'm thankful that the turkey will likely be butchered this year...or...perhaps the next turkey carver will rise up and be counted among the legends.