"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~ John F. Kennedy
Waking up to the gravelly scraping sound of the snow plow flying by our house is what woke me this Thanksgiving morning. "Snow," I thought, ‘"white, cold, and wet snow is waiting for us outside." It was a little after four o’clock. I had my alarm set for five thirty so I could get food made and myself showered and ready to leave the house by eight. Knowing I have so little left to stay in my soft bed underneath the warmth of the covers makes me wonder if I will be able to fall asleep again. After wondering that, I know I won’t. I still give it a fair shot and with all my might feel myself drift off shortly after five, only to wake a short blink later. Snooze. drift. wake. Snooze. drift. wake. Snooze. Wonder how long I got before I get yelled at again to get out and brace this wintery chill that’s sure to be in the air. I get up and out of bed shortly after six.
Groggily, I make my way down the hall towards the kitchen, my lazy feet occasionally skidding on the wood floor as I go. One soft orange light hanging over the kitchen sink is more than enough illumination for my still adjusting eyes. Looking out the window, I can see it’s still dark. The hanging light is bright enough. I preheat the oven and wait. As I wait, I get the coffee ready. Throwing my pre made pie in the oven, I check the clock, then turn to make my way to the shower, hopefully NOT waking my sleeping family as I do.
Once in the shower, the warm water falling on the back of my neck, brings me comfort instantly and I begin to feel the chill the air lent to my skin fade away. I think, "This, I am thankful for. Quiet, warmth, comfort, and refreshing." Looking down at my expanding belly, I think of my sweet baby within who seems to be growing so quickly and instantly my mind is flooded with those I know who’ve recently faced heartbreaking and difficult circumstances. I say a prayer for the women I know of who’ve lost their babies during their much anticipated pregnancies, praying God brings comfort to their aching hearts and love surrounds them every step of their healing process. I pray for a friend who had her baby quite prematurely. I pray for that little boy to grow quickly and healthily and to bring nothing but hope and joy to those who his sweet life touches. I pray he feels the comforting hand of Jesus at all times, and that he feels the love of all who have been excitedly awaiting his arrival, especially his adoring mommy and daddy. And for his mommy and daddy who were released from the hospital and went home without a baby in their arms...My eyes close tightly as I fight the tears trying to escape and I choke back the cry looking to emerge from my heart. I just cannot fathom being able to neither stay with my baby at the hospital or leave with them in my care. I thank God for the nurses and doctors and pray he gives them incredible wisdom and intuition with their boy. I finish my prayer with the baby boys parents, asking God to give them strength when they feel they can’t stand, endurance for any challenge that comes their way, and peace and divine comfort from above that affords them their much needed sleep at night. My heart feels lighter and am now ready to start my day.
Sneaking out of my bathroom, then bedroom, and past the baby’s room, tiptoeing the whole way, I quietly make my way to the guest bathroom. Mindlessly getting ready, I notice the wiry grey hair making itself known on the top of my head. I think briefly about pulling it, but then realize what that represents...I have had the privilege of living! I’ve been a good girl, a somewhat wild girl, escaped what could have been terrible situations and made my fair share of mistakes. I have worked in a profession I loved being a part of for nearly twelve years, have the love of my life who chose to marry me, to make ME his wife. I’ve carried not one, but now two children within my own body and have had the privilege of being called ‘ma ma’. I am blessed to watch my little girl grow and change, explore and experience this crazy beautiful life with her mischievous smile or focused furrowed eyebrows taking it all in. I am thankful for the relationship I have with my mother, my siblings and their families (in laws most definitely included). This one wiry grey hair is here to remind me of all I have been blessed with and hope that there’s more to come!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Wishing you a day, week, month and year ahead of blessings, joy, love and gratefulness! xo