Maddie said: “So, today’s the day we celebrate when the pilgrims gave the Indians (“No, Maddie…Native Americans,” I corrected)sleeping bags full of disease that eventually killed them all and then the pilgrims also stole all the corn and pie from them too, right? So, then, ummmmm, what exactly do we celebrate today?”
Ahhhh…how I love my daughter and her (almost) correct interpretation of Thanksgiving.
Despite her reflections, I do believe Thanksgiving has morphed into a holiday that brings families together and makes everyone feel thankful for what they have.
To be honest, Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday. I’m not a fan of over-stuffing myself and then feeling ill and the pressure I always feel to say how thankful I am for my family and friends and everything I have.
It’s not that I’m not thankful for these things, but I just feel that Thanksgiving always seems, well, forced. Like forced thankfulness.
This year, in particular, with Luke gone, my brother living in Hawaii, my sister and her family with her in-laws, my uncle (who lives in town) ill, and the rest of my family celebrating in Los Angeles, this Thanksgiving felt rather sad, though I was still thankful to be with my mom, dad, Maddie, and family friends Ron and Caroline.
But I felt almost extra thankful for all I do have this year. Last night I watched a horrendous documentary called God Grew Tired of Us.
I honestly cried throughout the entire film. It was heart wrenching and eye-opening. Everyone should watch this film.
It made me thankful of all I have and embarrassed of all the excess of our country.
So tonight I’m thankful, yet saddened. I know I’m a busy person, with a job and kids and responsibilities, but there has to be something I can do. I do donate money to certain charities, but there has to be more than just writing a check.
The question remains, however, what? I think it will be my mission in the coming year to do something for those who have so, so, so much less. And to look at life through the lens of those lost boys: what do I need, what’s really important in my life, what can I give up to help someone else?
These are difficult questions, but in this giving season, they are questions I want to answer.
I don’t want to live a life where I contributed nothing in this world. Well, maybe not nothing, but certainly not enough.