Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving - Family

The season of Thanksgiving is officially over and the Christmas season has begun. Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year will end in a few hours as the clock strikes midnight. I did my own share of shopping today and now feel the excitement of Christmas spirit. That is something to be thankful for...the Christmas spirit!

As I have spent time in the last week and especially the last two days thinking about the things that I am thankful for, I have to mention how thankful I am for my family...biological and the one that I married into.

One of the reasons that I am grateful for having moved to Texas is we can now spend holidays with our family. As much as I enjoyed the traditions that we created in Virginia, there is nothing like the joy of being with family. There are memories, love, genuine care, and simple pleasure of just being together that cannot be experienced with anyone else. Family is irreplaceable, unconditional, and precious.

I am thankful for my mother, the fact that she is alive and (mostly) healthy. I miss Ron, her husband, whom we lost a couple of years ago. It has been difficult and scary and I hate that he is not here, but I am so grateful that my mom is OK and I have been able to be close during the last two years. I am certain this was something that God saw coming down the road and strategically placed us here at this time. It is wonderful to be able to spend Thanksgiving with her.

Part of Fred's family was able to join us at my mom's. I am thankful that our families are willing to spend time together, combining celebrations and having fun together. I like that our families are interested in one another. I enjoy our relationship with Fred's sister and husband and our niece's. Now we have a new nephew-in-law who just joined our family this past weekend! Congratulations to Megan and Matthew who just got married in Maui!

My niece, Kristin, is a joy to be around. She is growing and is so beautiful! I am thankful that we are close enough to see her on a regular basis and she knows who we are! She adores "her Becca" and I love watching her follow Rebecca around with absolute admiration.

I am thankful for Fred's parent's. His mom and her husband, G.W., also joined us at my mom's. (as did Deb, Mike, and Michelle) They are so sweet and pleasant to be around...and so easy going.

We spent Friday morning with Fred's dad and his wife, Anna. Even though they are going through a difficult time (Fred's dad's health is not good right now), it was so good to be around them. We reminisced about Thanksgiving and Christmas's past, laughing at the things we did and how much time we have all been a family. It was a little scary to see Bob so ill and we will pray like crazy that he will get stronger so that we can spend more time with him.

From Bob and Anna's we went to my dad's house. He and Glena made their famous (to us) homemade pizza. We enjoyed catching up. Chuck (my half brother) was there. He is living in Wichita, going to the same church that Fred and I went to when we were living there. It was such fun to visit with him...he is such a great guy!

As Rebecca, Fred and I made our rounds to visit all these folks, I had a warm feeling of being home. I told Fred that it felt like we were early in our relationship again. It was good to journey back in time, thinking of the things we did when we were first married, when we were just merging our families together. Rebecca was gathering information, fun information...history of times before she was born. Family stories that will be fun for her to know and pass along. Fred and I have come a long way since those early days, but it is history that we enjoyed sharing with our daughter.

I am thankful for family. There is no one in the world like them. Thank you, God, that we are near enough to them to spend time with them again and let us do it often!

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