When I grew up I had a large family. My mother had four brothers who all had kids, and we'd get together every holiday as one great big clan. I remember my mother's cooking, and her great raisin tarts that were our holiday tradition (boy I miss those). Now my parents are dead, her brothers are all dead, my cousins are married and thousands of miles away. I haven't seen any of my cousins, except one, for over 12 years, or my brother since 1996. My cousins are disbursed in the U.S. in a variety of places, and we never talk to one another. I rarely talk to my brother either, except during the holiday season for short phone call.
Not having a mate is hard during the holidays. Family is important to me because I have such fond memories of the joy of the holidays with them. However, being single, I still feel that there's another half missing, a large hole beside me that I can't seem to fill, no special person to share it with or pass the mash potatoes to and smile at those I love.
When I pick up my National Geographic magazine and look at the slums in some third-world country, I do so to remind myself how lucky I am -- blessed, though alone, to have a roof over my head, a good job, a weekly pay check, a wonderful hairy dog, food on my table, a car that runs, my health, my writing, and close friends at work. On Thanksgiving, it's time to focus on what we have - not on what we don't.
As Johnny Mercer's song says, "Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative." Sure some of you may still have painful emotional areas in your lives, but you need to put any pain into perspective. Today you are not at a place of total destitution or despair. I'm thankful every night I crawl under my warm blankets and go to sleep, I'm not out on the streets under a bridge. Sure I don't have a warm body next to me, but I know I'll wake up, Lord willing, to a new day with new possibilities and new opportunities ahead of me.
So alone on Thanksgiving? Choose today to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Happy Thanksgiving to all.