Thanksgiving is a portable holiday. It is that day which connects Americans at our core – no matter where we celebrate it. This Thanksgiving, my family is spread the way Americans innately seem to spread. My husband returned to northern Michigan from Slovakia. Our daughter, Taylor, joined him from her university in Colorado. Our son, Ryan, will travel to his girlfriend, Annie’s, home back in Denver. And our son, Mike, and his wife, Emily, will be with family in Virginia. I hope we all stop for a moment and remember each other as we give thanks. I know we will.
Me, I’ll be saying my “merci” in the south of France. Somebody has to do it.
We have a lot to be thankful for this year. We pretty much always do. There are the standard thanks; our good health, old friends, family, steady jobs and warm homes. There are the light hearted one. Broncos fans everywhere will join me in saying thanks for Vonn Miller and Peyton Manning. Fortunately, thanks are pretty free form – I can’t pick between the two. My husband and I have some unique thanks on our list this year; a new home which we love, friends we never expected to bless our lives, and an unforeseen opportunity to experience another country and culture.
Come Friday, we will be bustling around, shopping, buying larger pants, and making turkey soup. Our day of thanks will be a dimming memory. But each year, this day will come again. We will be giving thanks for the memories we are building today. We each need to build those memories carefully. Next year, who knows what table we will sit around, where that table will be, and who will be sitting there with us when we share the blessings of the last year. We didn’t envision this year. It teaches us to expect the unexpected and to work hard on the present as it soon becomes the past.
Next year, we might be in Denver, or Slovakia, the south of France, or a hundred places in between. But an invisible thread will connect us to each other and back to home. It always does.