Every Thanksgiving I witness at least one sadness – someone who has one less person around their Thanksgiving table, a family that has fallen completely apart, or people struggling with the memories of those who are long gone from this world, but far from forgotten. We feel sad, discouraged, bitter, and angry at the fact that the Thanksgiving we envisioned is not the one we’re experiencing this year. I know that pain. I’ve gone through it myself – the pain of one less person around the table, the pain of a family fallen completely apart. Through it all, though, I’ve tried to pull out at least one thing I’m thankful for, even if it’s small and stupid compared to the rest of the heartache going on in my life – I’m thankful for my health, a roof over my head, food to eat, the loved ones that are still here, the opportunity to go to school, a decent car to drive, the fact that I have a lovely smelly candle burning in my living room. Sometimes it’s the little, silly stuff, but it’s a start. And from that small spark of thanksgiving, I create another spark, and another. Before long, I have a roaring fire of thankfulness where before I was wailing over the burnt-out ashes of traditions I had lost.
I’m thinking of all my friends today who are experiencing the pain of lost loved ones and lost traditions. It’s not always easy picking through the ashes and trying to find a spark, but do it anyway. You can do it. We all have at least one thing to be thankful for and that one thing can make all the difference in the world.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.