I can only imagine what it was like to wake up on that peaceful morning in 1621. The small village of Plymouth, Massachusetts filled with a flurry of activity and wonderful smells as the villagers prepared the first Thanksgiving feast. I can almost imagine the feeling of nervous excitement that ran through the crowd of pioneers when the first Native Americans sat down at the tables along them.
While I wasn’t there myself, I’m pretty sure they didn’t call the feast “Thanksgiving” that first year, but the feeling of gratitude toward whatever force was in the universe that saw them through a good harvest, kept them healthy, and let them live peacefully was still the same as it is today. As with most holidays, I don’t think that we all need a reason to close our eyes, say a little prayer, and say thanks to the universal power or to those around us for everything we have received in our lives, but I’m glad that with all the things going on in our lives, we do have a small reminder to say those thanks.
For me, Thanksgiving is about one thing: family. Sure, the turkey is great (I’m a dark meat fan myself) and I live for green bean casserole and pie, but for as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving was a time for family and still is. And not just our biological family, if such a thing still really exists. To me, this holiday is about appreciating all the people in my life who care for and about me, and I them. Friends, parents, future in-laws, colleagues, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more… they are all pillars that I lean on and the reason I continue doing what I do in my daily life: being the best person I can.
While I normally head to Ohio to spend time with my family, this year that word has taken on a new definition for me. So much has changed in my life… I am now engaged to the most beautiful girl in the world, we close on our first home at the end of December, and my Mom, an Illinois native for most of her life, has pulled up roots and moved to North Carolina.
While the definition of “family” might change from year to year, the meaning of the word is still the same in my head and my heart. So, to all of you that I know all too well, and you know who you are, thank you for everything. Keep on keeping on. Love you all.