Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

I think it's fair to say that the past year has been pretty rough, family wise. Not with me and Pete, but with others who are important to us. There have been many sad times coping with these new challenges, this redefining of what it is to be in relationship with others. The changes have also meant some geographic shifts as well, and for the first time in our lives we were without family at Thanksgiving.

Although we joked about how fun it would be just to order pizza and watch movies all day, I felt a little sad at the starkness of it all. Thanksgiving has always been one of my very favorite holidays and the idea of passing it by unceremoniously seemed a shame.

Sunday we ran into our good friend Julie at the park. She and her husband have two beautiful young children and we've been blessed with the friendship of her family this year. She asked about our Thanksgiving plans and learning we had none, immediately invited us to join her family for dinner.

I baked some sides and desserts and today we congregated at Julie's with another family from the neighborhood, also with family far away. Both Julie and her husband have lost their mothers within the last year, and my own losses were heavy in my heart. There we were, three young couples gathered together, bringing food to share, celebrating the gifts in our lives, nourishing bodies and souls in the midst of a challenging year.

I know that many years from now when we likely will have a house full of our own children and even grandchildren, when the wrinkles of this year have long been smoothed, I will think back on this year, this tender afternoon, as one of my most cherished feasts...truly connected to the spirit of the first thanks-giving.


Bethany said...

That's a beautiful thing.

A wonderful experience to share with us!

I'm sorry that your family is far away, but what a perfect day to share with others who need the company! Exactly as it should be.


by Johanna Brandvik said...

I'm sorry to hear that you had a rough year, and am so glad that you and yours found a special way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Ahhhhh....friends!