Monday, November 24, 2008

Home Again...Happy Thanksgiving

Hey everybody... I made it! Yes, that's right the KTB is in the States. That would be much more exciting if I was able to see everyone I would like to see. Sadly, I'll be in Lou the whole time doing family things but I am thinking of all of you and if you can, write a comment or send an email my way. Luckily, one Elho will be in St. Louis for the holiday and I cannot wait! But mostly I wanted to write a quick note about Thanksgiving and gratitude after reading a really great article about Maya Angelou.

She is quoted as saying, " I'm grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love-- for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I'm grateful to know that it exists."

God gives us what we need, not always what we want. Whenever I find myself wishing things were a bit different, I remind myself of how lucky I am. This year has been tougher than usual with the passing of several people close to me (including one of the children), my rash and brutal decision to move to south america, heartache and now the hospitalization/hospice care of my grandmother. Each event deserves it's reverence and thoughtfulness and some more than others, however I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am in all aspects of my life.

Although my family is far away from me and I find myself missing them every day more and more, there was a time when I would not have cared. Now I get and send emails, phone calls and packages from thousands of miles away and as corny as it sounds find myself oddly close to my family, more so than in YEARS. It would seem ironic to some people that just as I now finally truly value and respect my family, I am not only far away but in some respects we are in crisis. The glue however abrupt, coarse and in your face funny will be passing and soon. Thanksgiving dinner has long been moved to my aunt's house but for me, this will be the first year without Tootie, my grams. As we prepare ourselves to let go of her, we find ourselves closer than ever. Laughing with aunts I thought I would never truly know... messaging with cousins I always thought way cooler than me. And being honest with a father about everything for the first time. I feel lucky because even if I'm crying or laughing in Paraguay, I share it with my family. I've gotten through some tough times with a call to mom or dad, an email to an uncle, and even a look at some family photos.

So this year, I'd like to take Thanksgiving to Thank God for my family--their support, their love, and their friendships. Hugs and kisses to you all!!

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