Thanks

November 26th. 2021

Karin, Asher, and I were all invited to a Thanksgiving dinner. It was a small family gathering hosted by the parents of Mikaela, our youngest son’s girlfriend. The invitation was a godsend. Karin and I are the full time caregivers for Asher, our baby grandson. Asher will be one year old next week. Karin and I seldom have time to scratch together a quick meal, much less cook a Thanksgiving feast. We weren’t sure if we would cook anything that day.

Our son, Stefan, was there with Mikaela when we arrived at her folks’ house. Rick and Nena greeted us warmly. I spent some time talking with Mikaela’s younger brother, Nick. When the food was ready, we all sat down at the table.

Rick and Nena explained to us that they have a family tradition during the Thanksgiving meal. Each person at the table is supposed to tell the others what they are grateful for. That’s kind of standard practice on this particular holiday. Karin and I used to do that sort of thing too, years ago.

Mikaela told us that she was grateful for the encouragement and support she had received from her parents in her efforts to become a nurse. Nick was also grateful to his parents. Rick and Nena were thankful that they had such great kids. I don’t remember what Stefan said.

For Karin and me it was easy to decide on what we were going to say. After all, we were looking at the little guy sitting on Karin’s lap. We said that we were grateful to have Asher in our lives. He’s truly a blessing. I added that we were grateful that we have the resources to care for the boy. Lately, I have been communicating with an Afghan refugee family. They also have a baby in their care. Karin and I have a home, good health, and money. The refugees are in good health, but they don’t have those other things. Karin and I struggle sometimes to raise Asher, but we don’t have to struggle nearly as hard as that family from Afghanistan.

What should we really be grateful for?

Love.

We have love in our family, as does Mikaela’s family. The Afghanis have that love too. Love will get you through a lot of hard times.

Money is good to have. Having a home that is warm and safe is a big deal. However, people can get along without those things, at least for a while. Love is all-important. Love is what allows us to survive.

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