Friday, November 30, 2012



For me, Thanksgiving has always been about family.  Well, family and food.  Mom's turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes...pies...but I digress.  Aside from the food, what's special about Thanksgiving, to me, is that it's one of a hand full of times a year that our family, inclusive of those friends who have become family and family members who live far away, take a step away from our daily lives and spend quality time visiting together.  My family has never really followed the stereotypical Thanksgiving.  The men don't sit in front of the TV watching football.  We rarely have any family controversy going on behind the scenes, or arguments about who's going to make what.  In our family we visit with each other and spend most of the holiday in laughter.

I was blessed to be born into a loving and supportive family.  A family that values each other and our time together.  My family has been blessed to have friends who've grown so close that they are now extended family for us.  I wasn't always so aware of this.  As a child and a youth I gave it no thought.  After I began my career I had to be at work to oversee the Thanksgiving buffets which always made it difficult to enjoy the holiday, especially when I was living out of state.  (During those days this was always a difficult time of year.)  Even after I returned home I still had to work, which forced the family to adjust their schedule around mine.

In 2005, for the first time since I had started working in the hospitality industry, I found myself working for a GM who felt as I did, that people should be with their families on Thanksgiving.  The Walden Inn would have no Thanksgiving buffet (which usually cost more to produce than they were worth), and the majority of our staff, including myself, would have the day off!  Of course, my car accident happened about six weeks before and when that Thanksgiving came I was just waking up from a medically-induced coma.  I have no memory of that day.

The following year I felt as if I was living on borrowed time (as I still frequently do) and was thankful for the extra year of life.  Indeed, I'm thankful for each day (although sometimes I do have to remind myself of that).  As time has moved on and I've adapted to life with a disability, I've had to rely on the people in my life far more than I ever wanted to.  I know that I would not have adjusted so well if it weren't for the loving support that my family and friends have provided.  I also know that not everyone is lucky enough to have those blessings.  I do not know where, or who I would be without the people in my life, so this year I give thanks for them.    

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