Norman Rockwell was not a writer, but like the old saying goes, "A picture can say a thousand words." I have always found that to be true with his art. Nothing can evoke a poem, a thought, a writing, a story, or memory like he can with the images that he has created. What a gift he had. I only wish that I could pass on, through words, the way that the holiday season makes me feel.
As I have gotten older I find myself becoming aware of so much more that I can be grateful for. Despite the fact that there is so much sorrow, pain, concern, frustration, struggle, and fight that goes on in our lives that it can be difficult to remember. It may be hard to see the joys, find the moments of laughter, the moments of love, or the moments of kindness that happen everyday around us.
We rush past the holidays, buying each others affections with that one great deal, or sale that comes only once a year, but why? Why don't we celebrate the small victories? Why don't we celebrate those who love us? Why don't we see that something good happened today... even if it was just a small, seemingly insignificant thing? There is so much to be grateful for. Answered prayers, and even the unanswered ones, the laughter you shared, the sun shining, a cool breeze blowing across your face and through your hair, or a hug from a loved one, or a friend, an accomplishment that has been accomplished, another day that you stuck to your diet, or a choice you made that was hard, but was right. Those are the things that we should remember, and make a point to see. The traditions we have shared in the past, or can create can help us to find the joy that should be felt at this time of year.
I have sorrow, just like anyone. I am far from home and loved ones, I have three children who are no longer with me in this life, I have worries and concerns that plague my mind and clutter my thoughts, I have chronic and never ending pain, but yet I still have joy. I heard my daughters catching laughter today and it made me giggle, even from two rooms over. I saw my son do something for my other daughter (an act of kindness) without being asked. I saw my husband playing on the floor with one of our new puppies, and his joy was contagious. I watched an old movie, that always makes me smile, and I felt like I had escaped for a little while. The sun was shining making the cold fall breeze more bearable, but I also got to where one of my favorite slouchy sweaters, a rare treat for Arizona. I broke my diet with one of my favorite treats today. Not an accomplishment, but a delight all the same, especially because I know that I can forgive myself, and do better tomorrow. I am going to appreciate that my kids did the dishes without being asked, and the house though slightly disheveled, is not bad enough to be embarrassed about if someone knocked at the door unexpectedly. These are the things that I am going to be grateful for today... and tomorrow I will have to watch out for other blessings and I might have to remind myself that not everything sucks all the time, but I will do my best.
The only thing that I ask of anyone at this time of year is... Please don't hurry past Thanksgiving Day, instead find something that you are happy about, grateful for, or made you feel relieved, and share that with someone you love. Slow down and find your smile, and if you are a writer, write about it. Don't let life pass you by... not yet... there is still so much joy to be had.
I hope that you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!