Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks & Gratitude

For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I think it all stems from the fact that this holiday, unlike others, is nonexclusive in nature. Everyone from all walks of life, no matter their beliefs or background, gets to join in the festivities. Over the years I've been really fortunate to share this day with a mix of family and friends around whatever table I happen to be sitting.

For me it's a time to share fun stories, memories and joy. It is also a day to remember the people who have touched my life in ways that are immeasurable. Earlier today, I was working in the studio and tossing around ideas for this blog entry. I glimpsed back in time at one of my best Thanksgiving days ever. It was unexpectedly spent with Sharon and Barbara, both life time sister-friends that I have known since I was about 13. (Well, Sharon and I have been in each other's lives since we were both 10.) From the first day I walked into her front door, Barbara's family has always welcomed me into their family with open arms. No conditions...just pure acceptance and love. And, I am very grateful for that -- even after all these years.

As a kid, especially going through those tumultuous teen years, I think acceptance and love are high on the list of things we need to soothe our soul and I was no exception to that truth. Luckily, for me, I found what I needed in a few "families" and Barbara's family was one of those. It's hard to describe the exact feeling I had that holiday so many years ago when Joe, Barbara's dad, sat down next to me on the ottoman, hugged me and quietly said "you have always been a daughter to me and I love you." His words were so sincere and his hug was so warm. I was in my mid-30s then and even after all the years I still feel the hug and hear the warmth; and I will forever be grateful that Barbara was generous enough to share her family with me and that they all so openly took me in at a time when I needed it most.

So you see, that is just one of the many wonderful memories I have of this glorious holiday. Luckily, my list is long and full of memories that include very special spirits who have joined me in this life. With that being said...I want to let all of you know how grateful I am that you allowed me to share your lives, past and present...and hopefully future. Over the years, I have met so many wonderful and unique people and I am very thankful for them all. My wish for you, not just for the day but for always, is that you are healthy and that you have lots of laughter and joy. I know that I have those things because of all of you. So thanks so much for all of it! Now, would someone please pass the dressing?