The Bruso Family has a Thanksgiving tradition. After the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, each person seated around the table tells what they are thankful for that year. We’ve done this since our girls were kids. The teen years were the most challenging. On more than one occasion, a teen was pouting. I remember one year when our youngest couldn’t think of even one tiny thing to be thankful for. So, we skipped over her. The next year she was had a more grateful heart.
We have modified this tradition over the years. Originally, we began by telling what we were thankful for at the beginning of the meal. It became very obvious this wasn’t the best timing. Between the tears and the length of time it took, our meal got cold. Now, we thank God for the food prepared before the meal. After the meal we share what we are thankful for. One year, we said what we appreciated about the person sitting next to us. This also turned out to be a tearjerker.
Last Thanksgiving, my husband was recovering from a major heart attack. I told our children no one was allowed to announce at the table they were thankful that Dad was with us. Obviously, we all were extremely grateful, but if one mentioned it, everyone at the table would be bawling. It was too recent to get through it without the ugly-cry.
One year, when our granddaughter, Ally, was about 8-years-old, a guest was sitting in the seat next to Ally. The guest was my husband’s work acquaintance. When it was Ally’s turn to say what she was thankful for, we were all surprised when Ally announced that she was thankful that our guest could be with us. We were all crying again.
This year may have been extremely challenging for you and your family. Take the time to reflect on God’s goodness to you. In the midst of tragedy, loss and difficulty, God can be found blessing and supporting you. (It might be a good idea to keep a box of tissue near by.)