by Ammie Bryant
I’m a big believer in gratitude. I always have been. Every night, when I say my prayers, I give thanks for the many blessings in my life. Family is at the very top of that list. This year has had a way of bringing the importance of gratitude into focus.
We know that as we enter this season of family get-togethers there will be many families with loved ones missing from their table for one reason or another. Some of those absences may only be temporary but it doesn’t make it any easier. Other absences will be permanent–at least on this earthly plane.
Every year of my life, my mother’s extended family has gathered together for thanksgiving lunch. When I was young it was always held at my grandmother’s home but as she got older and our extended family grew, one or another of my aunts took over the hosting duties. This year, our extended family will not be gathered together–we will stick to smaller gatherings with immediate family to protect one another from an inadvertent exposure to the novel coronavirus. It will disappoint my 95-year-old grandmother, who has been missing visits from grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, but I would rather we have a temporary absence than a permanent one because one of the more than 50 members of our extended family were accidentally exposed to a virus that has prematurely taken over American 200,000 lives.
This year–and this pandemic–has taken so much from many of us. But, in spite of all of that, I am still grateful. I give thanks for the many members of my community who care for and help others. I give thanks for our school district and teachers who have adapted and tried to find solutions to an untenable situation. I give thanks that I have a family to miss and for the memories of holidays-past. And I give thanks for the opportunity to make new memories and traditions during this extraordinary season. I give thanks for so countless blessings that I see manifest throughout my community and within my family’s life.
I hope each of you, dear readers, have many blessings to be thankful for too.
Until next time, onward!