Friday, November 23, 2007

30 Years & Counting

Yesterday was our 30th year of celebrating Thanksgiving at Diane & Mike’s house, my sister and brother-in-law. There were only 12 of us 30 years ago. This year there were 31. Much has changed in 30 years. My sister’s two daughters are both married and her youngest, Lisa, has two children, Lauren and David. That makes my sister the only one of my siblings who is a grandparent, but then she is the oldest! Carol & I have four boys of whom none of them were with us 30 years ago, as well as our two daughter-in-laws, Erin and Kayla. My brother Dale has three boys, and my other brother Darrel, yes that’s his real name, has seven! He was the one who said he wasn’t going to have any kids! I guess he changed his mind. There was also an “intruder”. His name was Dale. He’s a friend of my brother’s boys, Nathan and Thomas who attend Southern Wesleyan University. He lived too far away to get home for Thanksgiving so the boys asked him to come home with us. (You won’t find him in the family photo – he’s taking it!)

Two people who were there 30 years ago but not in the picture this year are my dad and Aunt Marilyn. They’ve both passed away, but they were present in our hearts. I especially missed my dad carving the turkey and then giving us samples so we could taste test them. I didn’t miss him choking on the sweet potatoes, which was something he did at least twice and we had to take him to the emergency room. He just couldn’t resist sampling them, too.

With all the changes, one thing remains the same, the love we share for one another. Somehow over the years our families have stayed together and our love has grown. (I think God has something to do with it!) As a family we have so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for Diane and Mike who have put up with us taking over their house at Thanksgiving for all these years (especially when our kids were small). Also, I’m thankful for Dale and Kathy who Carol and I have shared so much life with including our boys of whom we have almost raised together. I’m thankful too for my “little” brother, Darrel, who’s just finished his masters program at Mount Vernon Nazarene. And for his wife Ginger who’s put up with our family for the last 19 years. Lastly, I’m thankful for my mom. After all, if it weren’t for her none of us would be here! Mom, thanks for giving us life and for giving us such a great example of what it means to love family, to love God and to love life. I hope we have 30 more years of Thanksgiving, but if we do, Diane and Mike will have to get an even bigger house!

1 comment:

Wayne said...

Hey my fellow Journeyer. In 1979 over Thanksgiving holiday my mom was in the hospital where she was diagnosed with Cancer. June 1980 she went home to wait for me to meet up with her and my Lord. After that my holidays changed, all my little traditions were lost. Fastforward I have learned to charish all traditions, especially the ones concerning family cause they will ultimately go through more changes somehow. Death, divorce all can have negative impacts on holiday traditions and as a result I have learned to love as hard as I can and to make todays traditions the best they can be and enough time has passed for me to know I always have past Traditions to charish in my heart.