First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! Since this Thankful Thursday falls on the holiday of celebrating what we’re thankful for I wanted to reflect on what I’m most thankful for, my family. From my parents, to my aunts and uncles to my cousins, I have been blessed to be surrounded by the best people.

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I could go on and on about my parents, they go above and beyond for me. They allow me to do amazing things, like travel or start my own business. They have always backed me 100%. I haven’t been the easiest child to raise, but they never give up on me. They are always there for me to rely on and I know I can count on them. Not everyone is blessed with “good” parents, some people don’t have parents, so I am beyond thankful that I have them and that they are as amazing as they are. I know how lucky that makes me.

I also have a great extended family that I know I can rely on. I grew up with six cousins on my mom’s side of the family and now I have five on my dad’s (I grew up with two but my Uncle Dan and Aunt Pam recently added three children to the family! They are wonderful!). As an only child, having this many cousins and being as close with them as I am is so important to me. I cherish the bonds I have with them and think of them as the brothers and sisters I always wanted. The rest of my family is amazing as well, I have close aunts and uncles that have always reached out to me when they knew I needed the extra support. I feel very fortunate to be blessed with such a big, supportive, sometimes crazy, family.

 

I also am thankful for the people who aren’t in my life anymore, but was privileged enough to love, even if they were taken too soon. Having them forever would not be long enough. My grandmother was one of the most genuine, kind and thoughtful people I have ever met. She brought sunshine with her where ever she went. She was the kind of grandmother who collected cat comics for my cousin (who loves cats) in a photo album and once it was full would mail it to her. She often brought me small things that reminded her of me, newspaper clippings, an old magazine or photo, any art supplies she happened upon. But that’s not the only thing that made her a great grandmother, it was never about the things she gave us, it was that she was there. She never missed a recital, birthday, or game. I saw her at least once a week. Not just because she lived close but because she made the effort to be a part of our lives. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world that I had Mommom as my grandmother, and that I got to have her into my twenties. Another person I carry in my heart, who is not with us anymore, is my Uncle Pat. He was diagnosed with cancer when I was in middle school and fought it for years. He never let the battle get the best of him. When I was at my lowest he reached out to me and I will never forget that kindness. I often think of him when I’m feeling low and try and draw on his strength to help me pull through whatever I’m dealing with. He was so strong and brave and I strive to make him proud.

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                                                                                                                   I am so thankful, today, and everyday, for my family.

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