Soon, I will be boarding a plane headed towards Denver International airport in Colorado. My family will be waiting for me there with anxious excitement. I will share a warm embrace with all of them and they will continue to ask me about my experiences in Manchester and update me on all the things that have happened since I’ve been away until we roll into the driveway of their home in Monument, CO. My Mom will tell me all about the amazing food she’s to make for Thanksgiving and my birthday, which happen to be on the same day this year. I can already smell the banana bread baking in the oven…My Dad and I will talk about current events and politics as wells as plans for future hunting trips. My brothers will fill me in on all they’ve been up to while being away in college at UNC. My sisters will tell me all about high school, their volleyball season, and of course how much they’ve missed me since the last time we saw each other. The whole house will be a buzz with preparation for the coming feast.
As I think of these joyful thoughts about past events, in the back of my mind I can’t help but think about those who won’t have the same kind of holiday I will. Many people won’t be having a joyful reunion of family. Or they won’t have a house filled with the smells of a feast being prepared because food is hard to come across these days. The truth is, that many of the kids I work with everyday didn’t have much to be thankful for on November 25. This breaks my heart to think about. With this in mind, I realize how much I have to be thankful for and how often I take these things for granted. Even the smallest things in my life, I need to take account of and be grateful for them. Part of me feels that this upcoming holiday season is not solely about giving thanks or at least it should not end at simply being thankful; It should spur you on to give of your abundance to help others, to give others something to be thankful for. Ideally I will continue to give thanks for what I have long after the holiday season is over and that will fuel my desire to give back to others; especially the kids I work with.