Happy Thanksgiving!

source: Terry's Diary
I'm thankful for sunsets and sunrise. The effervescent beauty found in the dancing of light and dark. The peace in knowing that no matter how dark and still the night, the dawn soon comes to restore light to the day.

I'm thankful for love. Late night texts and early morning Skype sessions. Hour-long phone calls filled with glee and gossip. All day text sessions surrounding prolific words learned in scriptures and archived sermons. Smiles and laughter. Art galleries and museums and history and astronomy for displaying the beauty of times past, present, and the wonders to come. Friends who are there in the good and hold you in bad. Support and encouragement and constructive criticism. For the ability to capture those bright moments and keeping them hid in your heart to balance those lonely moments. Compassion, understanding, happiness, and unconditional love from a myriad of avenues to cover my life.

I'm thankful for my grandparents. My first thanksgiving without my maternal grandfather. My paternal grandfather passed before I was even a thought in my father's mind so my mother's father was the only grandfather I have ever known. The patriarch of my family who, through his life and experiences and mannerisms, taught me all I ever needed to know and understand what true love is and how true love works. Love isn't perfect. It is commitment and courage. It is valuing and cherishing. It is understanding self-worth and knowing self-discipline. Honesty and trust. Hope. It is strength and perseverance  Belonging, sacrifice, honor, passion, and patience. And it is worth it. Every single day, every single moment, every single tear, every single smile. It is always worth it. My grandmother lost the only man she has every loved and shared life with. They shared 75 lives together as a couple; 66 years together as man and wife. Together since the age of 13 and 14. While I was deeply saddened and pained by the lost of my grandfather, I know the experience is something completely different for my grandmother. Seeing her tears and seeing her hurt breaks my heart entirely but...  her faith is unshakable. Her songs and prayers of thanksgiving to God instead of slipping in a deep darkness amaze me. She sings her favorite hymns through her tears. She finds her strength and comfort in God instead of becoming lost in the pain. Her smiles and laughter and strength despite losing the one person that fills (and was a constant factory in) every memory she harbors. Her resolve to keep loving and living. I'm thankful and grateful for being able to see that faith in and love of God. If I can be one ounce of the woman she is or experience a shred of the love she had, my life would be so much better for it. Philippians 4:7.

I'm thankful for life. To be able to explore my interests and passions. Life is meant to be lived in the ways you see fit. I'm thankful for parents and family who always allowed me the room to be who I am and support me in all I do. I know that is a gift not afforded to most.

I'm grateful for a God who loves... and cherishes... and supports... and seeks... and values all that is me. 
I'm thankful for this opportunity I have just to be. And have been. And will become.
I'm am thankful to God for allowing me to be me.

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