The dishes are cleaned, the food is packed up. The crystal is cocooned in bubble-wrap for another year. Desserts are wrapped, the coffee urn is empty. Tables and chairs are put away, and borrowed dishes are set out to be returned to their owners, empty of the bounty they came with.
In the quiet of the post-holiday-hosting house, I reflect on true gratitude. Everyone is thankful for something different; my children dutifully said they were thankful for us and their home and their extended family, but I think they were secretly thankful for leftover Halloween candy and video games. Those in good health, especially recently cured of ailments, tend to be thankful for life. If we lose a family member or close friend, it tends to make us more thankful for those we do have, living and breathing right alongside us.
As for me, I'm thankful for my children and my wonderful husband, and our health, first and foremost. Maybe not the most original gratitude item, but certainly true. We have what we need plus a little extra; a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, food on our table and gainful employment. I have a big, crazy, noisy family whom I adore. An amazing circle of friends, and a quiet town filled with fresh air and nice people in which to raise my family. A great church that lets us be who we are, welcomes everyone, and inspires us to think about life in fresh new ways. I have a pretty great life, and I'm thankful for the air I breathe and the people who surround me and send love my way. I'm not sure what I did to deserve it, but I do feel truly blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope yours was as much fun as mine was, and that you have a million blessings to be thankful for, too.