As it says on all signs in stores and in all elementary school classrooms this time of year, Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to spend time being thoughtful about the blessings and gifts in one’s life.
This Thanksgiving, I spent the few days leading up to the holiday with Chris, his immediate family and his mother’s side of the family in upstate
. New York
It was lovely.
I had only been to visit with this part of his family once before, during Christmas two years ago. Then, we were not yet engaged so because of this and because it was my first time meeting any of Chris’ extended family, I was more nervous and not quite at home (but not because his family was anything but welcoming).
This year, I felt much more comfortable. What’s more is that his mother coordinated for me a bridal shower the day before Thanksgiving. All the women – from Chris’ 93-year-old great-grandmother to his 1 ½-year-old cousin – attended a breakfast. Just the fact that this was something that they all wanted to do and took time during the busy holidays to attend was heart-warming.
The shower had the effect of further facilitating my feeling of becoming part of the family in a very significant way. Something about the process of sitting down, purposefully, with these women and their great caring and warmth kindled in me a great thankfulness to be so lucky. I am lucky not only in my partner, but in his family who have been thoughtful and welcoming to me. This trip was only my second time seeing everyone, save for my soon-to-be mother-in-law, but I already felt included.
So, today, as I sit in the airport awaiting the flight that will carry me and Chris toward our way home on this Thanksgiving Day, I am inestimably grateful to be adding so many wonderful folks to my own family tree – folks who will be there to witness our wedding and share our happiness, who share with one another much laughter and love.
Plus, you know, as my bridal shower gift, this is what they got me:
Because, it seems, they get me.
And I’m definitely taking those bad boys dancing very soon…just to break them in before I wear them on the big day.
In all seriousness, though, I am lucky and joyous (and maybe a little teary) to be joining this family and folding them into the concept of my family…not just Chris’.