Here in the states, Thanksgiving has come and gone as has most of the family who flew or drove in. Giving thanks is the stated focus of the day and it brings the spiritual element into our blessings. The joy, however, comes from the ability to experience the “normalcy,” for most of us, of the “unnormal” family. In my family we have a wonderful mixture of religions, races, nationalities, and sexual orientations. This is our normal.
At my daughter’s home, where we all gather, we have those who eat as if this is their last meal from 10:00am until 8:00pm. We have those who love their wine. We have adopted children, step-children, animals galore, ex-wives, ex-husbands, step-mothers, step-fathers, and grandchildren.
We also have card games, ping pong championships, football, and Hallmark movies. As I sit on the couch and look around, what I so gladly see is simply family. An odd, amazing, blend of personalities, who all choose to be together to celebrate the gift of family and our many blessings.
We have, and have had, many serious illnesses in our mix. We have suffered loss and have had great joy. In our family, we had a wedding this year bringing more people into the fold. This is our norm as a family. What it shows is that, with intention, we can all come together for the greater good. We can all put egos aside, put past hurts aside, and we can all be together as family.
My dad taught all of us his core belief, family is family. We will always be one for all. This new family is a trip my Dad never could have imagined. It makes me both smile and shake my head. Yet sitting on the couch, watching all the activity, the ages, the groupings, I simply see family.
Whatever your mix. Whatever your day held, even if it was serving food at a shelter, it is family. We are one human family, with a wide mix of skills, pain, joys, and needs. One family, one God.
I pray your day was filled with gratitude and the realization that family is where all that we are can be fed if we allow it, whether in the smaller insulated family or the larger family of the globe. We need to remember, we all are family and we are here to take care of each other no matter the mix.