My Wish For You

by Jennifer Boudreau on November 28, 2013

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Pilgrim IndianA couple days ago we had a Thanksgiving feast at our kiddos’ pre-school. It is one of my favorite events because all the little preschoolers look so adorable dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians. They sing a quick song followed by a prayer, and then we get to eat a yummy meal prepared by the staff and volunteers.

This year our son’s class made turkeys and on the feathers they had written some things they are most thankful for. My son wrote that he was thankful for family, his Legos, and for our home. I was so excited to see that they focused on being thankful for specific things because thankfulness is something we try and talk to our kids about often.

You see, kids eventually turn into adults and then the reality of life sets in. Their joyful, innocent hearts can easily turn in to ungrateful, bitter ones once they begin to experience the trials and tribulations of life. That is why we focus so much with our kids on being thankful for the blessings in our lives. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying.

This Thanksgiving, my hope is that you are thankful for the blessings in your life. People talk a lot about being thankful this time of year, but I don’t think they really let it process. I know I don’t do it as much as I should.

As an example, yesterday evening I was prepping some food for our Thanksgiving feast. It had been a long, busy day, so I really wasn’t  in the mood to do it. But, it needed to get done, so I got to work. While I was snapping green beans, I remembered my friend Emily, as I often do.

Emily got sick in her late 20’s. She got really, really sick with a nasty disease called Aplastic Anemia. At the time of her diagnosis, she had 3 young kids. One was a newborn actually. One week before she passed away, I was at her house and she was feeling decently well despite her bone marrow transplant not going well. She was making tuna salad for her youngest son and she was telling me how he loved her tuna salad….I can still see her standing there happily cutting up the celery. She was 90 pounds at best and had lost her hair, yet she was excited to feel well enough to make tuna salad for him. She was truly thankful for the opportunity to be standing in the kitchen caring for her boys and making them food. After all, there had been many months where she was lying in a hospital bed while someone else took care of them.

So, while I was snapping green beans, I was thinking of all the Emilys out there who were too sick to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for their families. It broke my heart, but at the same time, it made me thankful because I am well enough to care for my family. I am well enough to have a huge to do list and actually be able to finish it. All of this could change tomorrow, but for today, I am good….and for that, I am thankful.

Life can be grueling. All of us are human and get tired and overwhelmed, but I hope that amongst the craziness of Thanksgiving and the weeks to come, that you’re able to stop and adjust your mind set. Let’s lose the bitterness and crankiness and take a moment to reflect on our blessings, not our hindrances….and give true thanks for all we have been given. I know I’ll be making a conscience effort to give true thanks myself, because a conscience effort is what it takes.

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