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Thanksgiving, a day for thanks and reflection,  was always our family’s big day to get together and catch up on all the news from those we hadn’t had time to visit during the year. It was our  time to get together with cousins from around the state and talk about school and friends, what we were reading or sports we played. Our aunts and uncles remarked on how grown up everyone was since last year. Just a day to relax and touch base with the rest of the tribe, so to speak, and reflect on all those things which allowed us the time to come together once again.

After everyone has gone back to their homes, we reflected on those things we have in common, as well as those differences which keep us interesting to each other. We also think about the triumphs and trials of those in our little circle and celebrate those things for which we give thanks. For those who have triumphed, we are thankful for their success. For those who are struggling, we send our encouragement and prayers to help them with their journey.

How much of this has been forgotten in our fast track world of today? I’ve heard very little this year about Thanksgiving and what it means. But I’ve heard a lot about Black Friday and all the shopping everyone has to do. I’ve seen all the Christmas decorations and gift items for sale all over town since Halloween. There’s Christmas music playing in all the stores.

Yes, we all seem eager to get to the shops so we can run each other down to get the last item on our Christmas list, just a day after we should have been giving thanks for what we already have. Can’t we spend this one day showing our gratitude for what we already have before we go to buy even more?

We need to take the time for reflection, to meditate on what we’ve accomplished throughout the year. What do we have for which we should give thanks? A lot of people have lost jobs, taken pay cuts or had companies go out of business. But as one of my favorite childhood heroes, John Carter of Mars said, “We still live!” And according to Cicero, “While there’s life, there’s hope.”

I’m a breast cancer survivor and one of the sayings that kept me going was, “Never give up; never surrender.” It may be from a corny movie, Galaxy Quest, but it was one of my anchors in the chemotherapy sea which was trying to drown me. Another anchor, less elegant than the first was, “Don’t let the bastard win.” And everyday I gave thanks for waking up alive one more time.

So for those of you who have those things you need, give thanks for them and reflect on what made them possible for you and yours. And those of you who are struggling, reflect on the path which led you in this direction and look for a turning point. Reflect on your choices and ask for guidance.  Give thanks for life, friends, family, whatever you have that is good.

What am I reflecting on? My husband will be home for Thanksgiving this year. We can share our reflections with our daughter and three of our grandsons, along with dinner and a smorgasbord of desserts. I am thankful for good health, a home and dear, dear friends who brighten  my darker days.

And I am reflecting on life itself. The miracle of life which I can still enjoy.

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection. Take a look in the mirror, your reflection in the water of a nice clear lake, the mirror of your mind, even a crystal ball. Whatever you use, take the time to take stock of this year, where you started, how far you’ve come and what path you see for your future.

And give thanks.

Piu  tardi amici

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