After this Thanksgiving, with my husband’s parents, siblings, and all of their families, as well as our own children, I am grateful to be a part of such wonderful families. I know that many people are not so lucky. We don’t choose our family and yet, they are a part of us forever.
My parents, my sister, her husband, and his sister and her family are also wonderful. We’ll spend Christmas with all of them. Between today and Christmas that’s a lot of different family members with whom we’ll spend time.
We’re a pretty wide-ranging group of people in many ways. We live very different lives. We’re at different points in our lives. Some of see each other fairly often. Others see each other once or twice a year. I am glad to see them when we do. The hugs are genuine. The excitement and joy about time spent together is real. Our children have cousins they love.
For many holidays are a challenge. There are reasons time with family is not something to look forward to. Or even something that should be avoided. I understand that. And it breaks my heart.
There’s a belief in our country that family is the epitome. That it should be the most important thing in peoples lives. That makes it so much harder when family is toxic or causes pain.
To have been born into a family I love and who love me, to have married into a family that welcomed me with open arms from the first, and to have created a family with my husband that brings me such joy are all amazing gifts. I am grateful for these things on a daily basis but Thanksgiving is definitely a reminder of my luck.
For all of you who are not as blessed, for whom family is not a daily gift, please know you are welcome to join us at holidays or on any other occasion when you would like to be with friends who can be family. We are also blessed to have many of those in our lives.