I can’t believe that it’s the Wednesday before my favorite holiday-Thanksgiving! I absolutely love this holiday. The gathering of friends and family, the opportunity to cook for loved ones, it’s all there for me making it my favorite day of the year.
Our Thanksgiving festivities always start early with my mother’s family celebration the weekend before Thanksgiving. My mom comes from a large family and it is always a crowd when we get together. She is one of nine children, and I have 23 first cousins and many more second and third cousins. Although a large part of us are in Tennessee and Kentucky, some are in Georgia, Mississippi, California, and Colorado. When we get together it is always a great time!
We always have so much to be thankful for, but this year is extra special to all of us. If you read my blog over the summer, then you know that my uncle and two of my cousins were in a horrible wreck over the 4th of July weekend. It has been a long road to recovery, but they are all three back in good health. My uncle has recovered from the many internal injuries that he had, one cousin has fully recovered from the serious head and wrist injuries, and the other cousin finally got her halo removed a few weeks ago.
Another reason that this year’s gathering was extra special is that we had 25 long-lost family members in attendance…and the wreck was the whole reason that we were reunited! My grandfather and all of his siblings with the exception of one sister passed away several years ago. This sister (my great-aunt) lived in Homestead, Florida so we didn’t see her very often. My grandparents of course stayed in touch with her through the years but once they passed away, the two families lost contact. Somehow my great-aunt heard about my family’s wreck, and she contacted my uncle when he was in the hospital. My uncle told my mom and the rest of the siblings and passed along her phone number. My mom called her, and through a series of phone calls caught up with her long lost cousins. Of course they have children and grandchildren, so their family is also quite large too. My mom and her siblings invited them to our annual Thanksgiving celebration, and several of them made the trip from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Chicago! It was so much fun to meet cousins that I had never met before. One cousin’s husband is in the military and they may be moving to one of the Army bases near me. To think that something so scary and dark (the wreck) could lead to such a wonderful family reunion.God is so good! “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
It was just such a lovely weekend catching up with old family members and meeting new ones. I think I had a permanent smile on my face as we drove home on Sunday night, and I still grin when I think about this past weekend. Getting such a natural high from a weekend full of love and laughter just gives me a positive outlook on everything and makes me truly grateful for all that I have in my life.I am so blessed with family, friends, and faith!