Thankful


It’s late on Sunday afternoon.  The sky is the darkest blue, almost navy.  No stars have yet come out.  The air outside is cold and sweet.

Inside the house, the woodstove has been burning all day, and even the floor is warm.  The smoky heat makes me feel safe.  I draw the curtains.

Today I am so thankful.

My family will be here on Thursday, to celebrate and to eat.  I am thankful that I will have a whole big crowd to cook for! Sisters, nieces and nephews, loved ones and friends, a brother, an Aunt and Uncle, my Mother, all of us eating, laughing, squeezed together in this too-small house.

I have made my lists, and will spend the next few days baking, brining, roasting. I know how lucky I am to be able to buy all this food, to have a nearly endless supply of good things right here, and the means to have everything that we could want to make our feast.

Of course, I’m most thankful that I will have all three of my children here for the afternoon! For the first time in months, we’ll all be together, at least for a while. I know too well how lucky we are to still have each other. I know how fragile families can be, how quickly everything can change.  So I’m thankful.

And I am truly thankful that I am lucky enough to live in a place where the threat of bombs and tanks and guns does not exist.  Today I read the news, and thought of families on both sides of the Gaza/Israel border.  I thought of mothers there trying to protect their children from forces beyond their control.  How do they do it? How do they get up in the morning, and make breakfast for their kids, and put them to bed at night knowing that weapons of all kinds are aimed at them even as they sleep?  How do they go through life feeling that every minute there are people “not like” them who are planning new ways to kill them?  I grieve for all of them.  I am thankful for the peace that I have always known.

And because I am grateful, I have to promise myself that I will always do what I can to bring these gifts to others. To people who are no worse, no less kind, no less intelligent, no less deserving than we are, but who have not had the overwhelming luck that we have somehow stumbled into.

Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone, everywhere.

16 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Like you I had a real thankful moment in the grocery store yesterday. That food was in such abundance, that it is so beautiful and fresh and that I can bring it home to my family to enjoy. Wishing you a lovely holiday.

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  2. What a beautiful post! Your words are so wise and so special to me. My sister, brother-in-law and five nieces and nephews are living in Israel and never further than 15 seconds away from a bomb shelter at the moment. Her upbeat attitude and wishes for peace for all families on both sides of the conflict gives me hope. I wish you nothing but joy with your beautiful family this Thanksgiving – you are truly blessed.

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    • Oh, my gosh! I will surely keep your family in my thoughts, along with the families on both sides of that wall who just want to go on with life!
      I do think its important to keep reminding ourselves of just how lucky we are! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. Momsheib: You are the type of person who I always want in my life. This was lovely and I wish you the same in return. I lived in Israel for 3 years (I moved there when my oldest was a couple months old, and my youngest was born there). I always knew where the nearest bomb shelter was and the rest I put in God’s hands and my neighbor’s grace. One of my most clueless times as an ex-pat was when we first arrived and had just settled down for dinner as a family. Sirens started going off but I had no idea what they meant or what I should do, so we kept eating. One of our neighbors (he barely spoke English and we barely spoke Hebrew) banged on the door, grabbed the baby and us and hustled us into the bomb shelter below (my first introduction to a bomb shelter). That entire region has something that we’ve lost as a country: community connection. Because they are always on the alert for danger, they always look out for their neighbors. By the time we returned to the States, we had friends on both sides of the aisle and I pray for them daily. In the end, most of the people in the region are moderates and just want peace. Happy T-Day!

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