Thanksgiving has always been my father’s favorite holiday. A man not prone to over-hyped or commercialized holidays, he has always appreciated the one holiday of the year that simply asks for us to come together and give thanks.
The fact that Thanksgiving comes with turkey and gravy—and a slice of pecan pie, well, Dad believed that just confirmed the wisdom of his choice.
As I write this, I am grateful to still have my dad and mom around for a little longer. I’m grateful for siblings who do their best to keep our family gatherings joyful and peaceful, as I know too many clans who can’t let bygones be bygones. I’m grateful for the children God gave me, and for the cousin and friends who held me up when I lost my oldest son.
I’m grateful for a President who tries every day to remind us to be true to our best selves, and for a country in which we are free to speak our mind and, yes, to disagree (though I can’t help but wish the mothers of talk radio and cable news pundits and politicians would take this Thursday to remind their offspring about the importance of good manners—if only for America’s children who can’t possibly understand why grown-ups in powerful positions are allowed to name-call and behave in ways that would them in a corner on a time-out).
I’m grateful for America’s teachers and nurses, for our soldiers and first-responders, for the people who keep our towns and cities clean and those who keep us safe. I’m grateful for good neighbors and for those who care for our ill, elderly, and poor.
I’m grateful for public libraries and bookstores and shelters for those fleeing homelessness or abuse or in need of a second chance, as well as the librarians, booksellers, and kind souls who keep them open. I’m grateful for our national parks and the little neighborhood park down the block.
And, of course, I’m grateful for all the authors who write and give us books—the better to understand each other and this journey we call life, the better to recognize love in all its many forms, and the better to provide a welcome escape when the waters of life get rough.
As you ready your family’s table for Thanksgiving this year, for what are you grateful?
One person who comments on today’s blog will win a giant bag of swag (including books) from RWA 2015!
— Jeanne Devlin