Another Thanksgiving holiday over. The 2 weeks of preparation between deciding on a side dish, the wine, which sangria recipe, how many tables and chairs need to come up from the basement gone! Then there is the shopping, the cooking, the flowers, the last minute prepping all a memory. All that work and by 10 pm everyone is gone. By noon on Friday, the only remnants remaining, besides the leftovers, are all the items waiting to go back to the basement for a year! And I am heading to my happy place in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. Twelve years I have hosted. We have had family strifes, fires in ovens, screen doors walked through, turkey’s almost landing on the ground and not to be outdone, this year a sweet potato pie ended up on the floor!!
This year marked a very special Thanksgiving as we had just the number that could all fit in the dining room. Unfortunately that was also because all who were invited did not make it. At the top of that list is my dad. Not feeling well and still dealing with leg issues, he stayed home. We were also missing my married nieces and nephews who all went to other family or friends for this holiday. We were sad for those who didn’t make it. There was a time I had 30 people for this, my favorite day of the year!
Thanksgiving is about family to me. It is about giving to others and being grateful for what you have. I have done different things over the years to express our gratitude. One year when I was married, my husband and I (well I did it and signed his name!) wrote out thank you cards for each person there telling them why we were grateful for them in our lives and in our home. Another year I had pens and notecards and boards for us to each write what we were grateful for and place on the board, our own Domenick-Trope grateful board.
This year because we could all sit in one room, we went around the room and talked about what we we’re grateful for in our lives, and at this moment. My 90 year old mom started the thankful discussion being grateful for our family and all of us around the table. As we went around the table speaking about what we were most grateful for, I smiled. I sat there and realized how grateful I am for this crazy family. How grateful I am that my parents and aunt are still with us. How grateful I am that my nieces and nephews look forward to this holiday with me. How grateful I am that everyone wants to be together under my roof. How grateful I am for the years of memories we have made as a family. How grateful I am to have these amazing people love me unconditionally!
I am also grateful in knowing that not everyone has this crazy family or anyone to spend this most thankful day with. I stood in my yard before everyone got to my house and reflected on the day ahead. I stood in the sunlight and prayed for those who are alone, and those choosing to be alone. I prayed for all those lost who are trying to find their way. I prayed for those who I love to know how much they are loved. I prayed for this crazy world to come to its’ senses and calm down. And most of all, I prayed for all of you, to know you are loved and cared for and welcomed to join my craziness any day, any time!
i spent a lot of 2015 focused on my growth and journey, overcoming fears, realizing my worth, gaining my voice. And I am so thankful for these changes. I continue to become the best version of me because of all this love that is around me. So as this Thanksgiving weekend winds down, know that you are loved and how grateful I am for each of you. Thank you for being part of my life, my journey and part of my Thanksgiving!