Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thankful Day

One of the not-so-great things about having your children grow up, is that they grow up. They grow up, get educated, and move away. They have responsibilities that you can't suspend, things like the obligation to work on Thanksgiving Day.

So a few years ago, when the majority of our family had to work on Thanksgiving Day, we gave a long hard look at the holiday.

Was it a religious holiday? No

Did it have to be celebrated on any particular day to preserve it's authenticity? No. Throughout American history, Thanksgiving has been celebrated on many different days. In Colonial America, they sometimes celebrated many days of thanksgiving.

We broke down what we thought thanksgiving is to us - a day to be thankful and to gather with our family. We summarized that if over half of our family was missing the traditional Thanksgiving meal because they had to work and wouldn't be able to make the trip to our home, then it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving.

So we changed the day we would celebrate, to a day that the majority of our family would be able to gather together. One year it was on a Monday. This year it is on a Sunday. I also found that by not having our meal on the BIG THANKSGIVING DAY, a lot of the pressure for the perfect meal was gone.

We still have turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie; but the turkey isn't as large. We may cook more foods, but we don't cook a bigger quantity. Leftovers are more manageable and not a burden to try to foist into later meals.

So, while you are eating your thanksgiving meal, I will think of all the blessings that I have been given.

1. The top blessing for me is my year of remission from cancer. Because if I wasn't in remission, I would either be battling, or sleeping the deep sleep!

2. My next blessing is that all the rest of my family is healthy. Not relatively healthy with minor ailments. They are strong-as-a-horse healthy. And for that, I am grateful!

3. I am grateful for a husband who stayed loyal through all our ups and downs while I was healthy. I am grateful the way he put his shoulder to the wheel during the iffy days of my survival, and my grueling recovery.

4. I am grateful for the relationship between all of my children. They truly love each other, and will be there for each other through thick and thin. The older ones look out for the younger ones, so they avoid the pitfalls of life. And the younger ones remind the older ones to be vigilant for their health.

5. I am grateful that my illness didn't scare any of my children away from me. I'm sure coming to see me, esp when I was covered in tubes and wires was very hard to endure.

6. I am grateful for all the prayers that were continually offered for me during my struggle. I'm sure that, and my surgeon, are the only reason I have been given a reprieve.

7. I am grateful for the Internet. It kept me in touch with, and helped me to get to know better my Aunt Tanya and cousin Bernadette , both who left this world in God's friendship within this year.

8. I am grateful to Bernadette, who's example and advice helped me to endure hospital life.

9. I am thankful for my language.

10. I am thankful that my husband has a full time job.

11. I am thankful that we have enough food.

12. I am thankful for a roof over my head.

13. I am thankful for a warm house in winter and a cool house in summer.

14. I am thankful to live in America.

15. I am thankful that we aren't governed by Sharia law in America.

16. I am grateful that I'm not a woman, or a Catholic under Sharia Law.

17. I am grateful that my testimony is valued equally with a man's testimony in court.

18. I am grateful that I can own property in my own name.

19. I am grateful that I can vote in all government elections.

20. I am grateful that I can pick who I want to marry.

21. I am grateful that I can pick if I want to stay married.

22. I am grateful that I could go to school, without having to hide that information, or worrying if I would be killed on my way to school or in school, simply because I was a female.

23. I am grateful that I can pick what church I want to attend on Sunday, without fear that terrorists are going to drive through the front door, throw bombs at us, and shoot three year olds through the mouth because he screamed "Stop the shooting!" in terror.

24. I am grateful that I don't have to go to any church, temple or mosque if I don't want to.

25. I am grateful that I don't live in a country where enemies can make up offenses against you, for adultery, witchcraft, blasphemy etc, and you get railroaded into a death of hanging until suffocated, stoning, crucifixion, or burning at the stake.

26. I am grateful to live in a country where I was allowed to accept every single child God sent us, without fear of forced abortion or fines.

27. I am grateful to live in a country where I can write what I want on this blog what I want to write, without the fear of having my door pounded down in the middle of the night, being arrested, and never seen again.

28. I am grateful that I live in a country in which I can write a letter to the editor about politicians, about the cost of the paper today - Sunday price, filled with paid advertising - feeling very ripped off, and being able to sign my real name, without fear.

29. I am grateful to live in a country where I can wear a religious symbol four foot high, on my five foot body, and no one will have the right to tell me to remove it.

30. I am grateful not only for free public schools, but also for the right to home school if I wish. I only wish that the free education extended onto college and tech school, and didn't end at the age of 21, but went on until death.

31. I am grateful that I can bring such joy to all people. Some people feel joy at my arrival, and others feel joy at my departure.

32. I am grateful for the relatively inexpensive price of chocolate. (And hope that the rumors I've heard that chocolate will be too expensive for the average person to buy in the next 20 years are totally wrong.)

33. I am grateful for the readers of my blog. Thank-you!

What are you grateful for?


sherri said...

i am grateful that we have connected through this internet. it's unfortunate that our common thread is devastating disease...but that aside, you are a woman full of wisdom and compassion and i am incredibly lucky that God has put you in my path.

it warms my heart to know that you are in remission!

and i think it is absolutely wonderful that your family is able to reschedule the traditional giving of thanks so that more of you can gather... i think that's probably the best idea i've heard in a very long time! i always hate the stress of holidays - who can come, who can't, hurt feelings, and on & on! your family has pretty much solved all of that!

blessings to you!

Mary Bennett said...

I am soo thankful to have met you too Sherri!

Remember, it isn't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog!!!

Our dinner was great, because if we forgot to buy something, none of the stores were closed, we didn't feel guilty about having someone missing their dinner as we purchased for ours, and there wasn't any shortage of items, because everyone had already bought groceries for Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

I’ve meant to post about something like this on my webpage and you gave me an idea. Cheers..


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