This Thanksgiving holiday was definitely one of the best. I got a chance to spend the holiday with my dad, grandmother, aunt and cousins. This side of my family lived in Michigan until this past summer, making it extremely difficult to spend previous Thanksgiving holiday breaks with them.
Because of the illness in my family, this Thanksgiving was more meaningful that many in the past. I got a chance to spend some time with my uncle who was diagnosed with Cancer a few months ago. Family is one of the most important things in life and we should all be grateful for them all year long. It is so important to show loved ones what they mean to you while you still have the chance.
This was my first Thanksgiving without my maternal grandmother who I loving called Grammy. It was surreal to not spend the holiday with her. Her witty comments, mischievous smile and infectious laugh was missed greatly. I did, however, get a chance to see her youngest sister while I was in Houston. I had not had the opportunity to spend quality time with my great-aunt, Florida Mae, in countless years.
Thanksgiving starts the holiday season for my family. After eating a huge meal, we always reflect on the year and laugh about the “good ole days.” The day after Thanksgiving is always the day to put up Christmas decorations. Most years we join the masses in the Black Friday Shop-a-thon. This year however, we opted out of shopping to spend more time together.
One of the major conversation topics over this break was my upcoming graduation. The family is all so excited and proud that I am FINALLY graduating and attempted (successfully) to convince me to move to Houston after my graduation. After thinking about the decision for about fifteen minutes, I realized that the move would benefit me in many ways. Houston most likely has a better job market than Dallas, seeing that Houston is much bigger than the “big D.” Secondly, and most importantly, my family is here. Having lost so many family members in the past, forging closer ties to my remaining family is imperative to me. With illness running rampid through my family as well, time is of the essence.
This year the thing I was most grateful for was loved ones. Whether family or friends, this years has forced me to look at the people in my life and give honor to those who have supported, loved, respected and continued to believe in me. This was a very difficult year for me both mentally and physically. I learned so many things about those close to me as well as myself. My mental strength was tested. My heart was broken. And at the end of it all I will have graduated college, a feat that was important to me as well as my late grandmother.
As I look forward to next month (graduation) and beyond, I think about where I will be this time next year. One message I heard over this break that resonates with me is looking at every situation with some sort of positivity. Instead of fearing the unknown, I welcome it with the highest of expectations. I can genuinely say I am grateful for what is yet to come.