The house seems to sway with the steady rhythm of breaths and hearts in peaceful submission to rest. It's hard not to be amazed at how intricate our bodies can be. Our mind dances with our wildest imaginations, free to paint up our most secret of thoughts and feelings. The biggest desires. An unrealistic view of the world. The things that terrify us most. All the while, our chests rise and fall with lungs that just continue to push and pull without our asking. Our hearts that don't take breaks. Blood that is in a continual race. I'm alive and I am thankful.
Today I am thankful for time with a family who has accepted me as one of their own. A Papaw who kisses my cheek and gives me a sweet glimpse at what the man I married might look like in fifty years *fingers crossed*. I get to laugh with a mother-in-law that treats me like a daughter and who understands me because we've had a similar path. I love and respect her more than words could describe on a page. Sister-in-laws that love laughing and wine as much as I do. Brother-in-laws that...well, you can't win 'em all. Just kidding. They treat me like a sister, a part of them. A husband that works so hard every day to keep this house running and still makes me breakfast when I am a jerk. A home filled with joy. A turkey with hidden giblets. Hugs that make my soul soften. Kids that make the quiet eery. And tomorrow, I get to do it all again with my side of the family.
Today I am reminded of all that I do have, not what I am lacking. For that, Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays. Every day we are encouraged to buy more or upgrade or do better. If you don't have the best clothes or nicest car or newest technology, you're out. You need it. You want it. However today, TODAY we are filled with images and recognition of all that we do have.
I have to say, however you feel about what happened or didn't happen with Michael Brown is your own judgement. None of us will ever know the real story. But this morning as my kids awoke early and squashed my plans to bake and drink coffee in quiet...I sat down with Declan and kissed his head. I pointed out his eyes. Mommy's eyes. Declan's nose. Mommy's nose. Declan's mouth. Mommy's mouth. Declan's cheeks. Mommy's cheeks, wet with tears. My sweet baby boy. The product of the goodness of my soul (Declan means full of goodness and he SURE is). Michael Brown's mom doesn't have her sweet baby boy any longer. She doesn't have her son to hug and be thankful for on Thanksgiving. PEOPLE. Stop judging and start loving. The ache of my heart cried for this woman. Charlotte woke up and she snuggled under the blankets with us. I hope to never forget the smell of syrup in Declan's hair from yesterday's breakfast (don't judge) or the giant tangle of hair on the back of Charlee's head from her crazy sleeping that tickled my nose every time she turned to talk to me. The way she told me she was thankful today that I was a good mommy. The way the boys snuggled against my chest after waking up at the in-laws house from their nap. These things. These things fade. They become memories that I hold with both hands. That is all this woman has left.
Today, as you realize how much you have, remember the people that are missing loved ones at the table for the first time. People that don't have a house of laughter and love. Tomorrow you will, once again, be bombarded with all the things you don't have. Try and remember...not just remember, hold tight and name what you do.