Thanks and Giving

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. The day of giving thanks. We are to have one day dedicated to being grateful for what we have and want for nothing. Followed by one of the biggest shopping days of the year (a little ironic, right)?! Or if you’re a hunter’s widow like myself, it’s the day your significant other heads out and gets base operations set up. Either way, even though I’m a Thanksgiving baby, the day symbolizes something a little bit different for me.

The true Thanksgiving story is a lot more morbid than society portrays it. My husband is quite a bit Cherokee and Blackfoot. (When his skin has been kissed by the sun, he is the most beautiful reddish brown color I’ve ever seen)! While we still celebrate the holiday as a time to be with family, I tend to and always have looked at it as a time of mourning and loss. Not only at what expense Native Americans had to go through, but because we choose one day out of the year to be thankful?! It just doesn’t sit right with me. My Thanksgiving story is a lot more about the thanks.

I have had a lot of downs in my life. I also have had many ups. I don’t know about you, but when I am on one side of the fence, I try to look at the other. Don’t dwell on the misgivings. Analyze what life is trying to give to you. It gives so much more than we can imagine. Be thankful for the good , the bad, and even the ugly. Without one, the other shouldn’t or wouldn’t be as meaningful. Without sunshine, we wouldn’t know the rain. Without being thankful for the bad, we couldn’t experience the elation for the good. How could we ever know what we should hold dear to us? We need a balance to contribute to our life and our thankfulness.

In our society, we tend to complain an obsessive amount to anyone who will listen to us. We covet and wish we had more than what has been given to us. We think we know what bad is until we find out that there are needy, hungry, and homeless people. People that have it a lot worse than us far more than we could ever know. Then we take one day out of the year to be grateful and thankful. I don’t buy it.

We should go out of our way to be thankful more often. Give to those who are less fortunate than us. Keep a gratitude journal. The blessings we are given should not be taken for granted. Write letters to the people we could not live without and let them know it. Take a moment to let the world around you sink in to every fiber of your being.

I know from personal experience how wrong it can be and feel to be unappreciative of the things in your life. One day you take something for granted and then it is gone the next. For my husband, simply walking was a lesson he had to learn and it does not come easy. For me, it was people and the understanding of them. What lesson did or could you learn the hard way? We are not guaranteed anything in life. That fact should not be taken lightly.

We don’t know what we don’t know. I used to hate that quote. But now, I am thankful for it. We all should learn that before it’s too late. We should not wait until Thanksgiving to be grateful, thankful, and blessed.

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