I’m Thankful For My Family

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Attitude
Tags: , ,

image from toddstocker.wordpress.com

image from toddstocker.wordpress.com

Many of you have probably seen others posting daily notes on social media this month about things they are thankful for. Perhaps you, too, are sharing your “30 Days of Thankfulness”  messages publicly. The timing of the thankfulness theme is tied to the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

I have not done that, but it would be unfortunate not to reflect in a series of posts here about those people, circumstances, things, etc. for which I am most thankful. So today I begin a daily reflection on the theme of thankfulness. I’m not going for any set number of posts on the topic. I’ll write about those that most readily stand out to me over the next several days and then I’ll stop. Simple as that.

In the long list of that for which I’m thankful, it’s difficult to start with anything besides family.

I was blessed to be born into a family with wonderful parents who still are a source of great joy, pride, and good times together. If I was to start saying “thank you” now to my parents for all that they mean to me, and if I was to repeat it every second for all the years ahead of me that I have life and breath, it would not be enough. There is no way to repay such an example of love.

I am thankful for the memory of my sweet sister who succumbed to cancer many years ago. Her face may be frozen in time in my thoughts at the age of 40, but life with her for nearly four decades still brings joy to my heart and a smile to my face.

Living on the same street growing up as both sets of grandparents was a treat that few enjoy, and a source of countless times together. A childhood of very close extended family connections and frequent get-togethers made family a core part of who I was and am and always will be. Life with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents and more in the small town of Winchester, Kentucky was a way of life that shapes a person and his/her familial expectations forever. I would not have it any other way. I realize many on this earth did not have it so lucky growing up with a close, extended family. I am thankful to be one who did, and I am especially grateful that many of those relationships continue.

As an adult, the meaning of family expanded. I’ve been married to Linda for over 34 years. I am thankful for a faithful, loving wife and for a marriage that will last til death do us part. We had some skeptics in our college days when I asked her to marry me after we had only dated for two weeks. Of course, she took three months to answer the question and we didn’t get married for over a year later, but I think we’ve proved the skeptics wrong after 34 years.

We have two grown sons – Brian and Jason. Jason extended the family by marrying Lauren and then the two of them gave us our first grandchild, Abby. I am thankful for the family joined to ours through the marriage of Jason and Lauren – good, good people who are a pleasure to be around.

I am thankful for Linda’s parents, Jean and her late husband, Chuck, and Linda’s sister, Jill. I am thankful for memories of Linda’s wonderful grandmother and the times at her house in St. Louis.

With most families, things like jobs, educational pursuits, marriage and wanderlust can eventually limit the frequency of times family members get together. We inevitably end up feeling closer to some than to others for a variety of reasons, but the bonds of family are still lasting. The impact of earlier years together continues. The potential of future endeavors with new family members creates new opportunities and defines what family looks like to the next generation.

Anyone without a family is missing a critical component of life as it is meant to be. Those estranged from their family are missing out on greater possibilities and experiences that only come through those familial ties. With so many around us in such circumstances, consider reaching out this holiday season and inviting them to experience the holidays with your family. You may just redefine “family” for yourself and others by doing so.

I am blessed in many aspects of life. I am truly thankful for family past, present, and future that make up the core, enduring relationships I have on this earth.

Thank you, God, for my family.

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