On this special holiday, I want to thank all of you for your friendship and support. You are my inspiration, and every time I write my blog, I feel connected to you and my unlimited gratitude. I hope this year has brought you health, joy and happiness, and that you will celebrate Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends with hearts full of appreciation.
I have much to be thankful for, and I will go briefly down memory lane like I do every Thanksgiving to thank everyone who touched my life and made it better. This also includes my loved ones who have transitioned but still live in my heart. I also include the few people who brought me pain, and I thank them for the lessons they provided. I am a stronger and better person because of them.
This year I’ll enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and feel blessed to have been invited by dear friends. It will be a very special day and Steve and I are looking forward to it. After a difficult year with many health challenges but feeling better now, I have so much to be grateful for and spending this holiday with wonderful friends will be a perfect way to celebrate my blessings.
For me Thanksgiving is not only a great opportunity to express appreciation and gratitude but also to celebrate life. We normally take life for granted, but when it slowly slips away, we become very much aware of it, and I feel more in touch with my life than ever before. For the pilgrims, the goal was living in freedom, for me it is the joy of being alive. We have come a long way since the First American Thanksgiving in October 1621 which was organized by the pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World. It was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims. But the spirit of this holiday remains the same: being thankful for our blessings and coming together with family and friends.
There have been many Thanksgivings since I immigrated to the United States. The first one, just two months after I was married, came as a surprise. We were invited by Steve’s colleague who, like Steve, came from Texas. I had no idea that according to certain Southern customs the women are supposed to be in the kitchen while the men enjoy drinks and delicious hors d’oeuvres while watching football on the tele. And I thought that German men were chauvinistic when growing up in Germany! Well, I “sweetly” conformed, and spent my Thanksgiving cooking, serving, and cleaning up. It was an amazing experience! I hoped that the men, who hung out and never lifted a finger, had a wonderful time and extended their “thanks” to the women who made their celebration possible.
This first Thanksgiving has been followed by many more, some traditional, some uniquely different like my vegetarian feast. Sometimes we were traveling internationally and our hotel tried to make Americans feel comfortable by serving delicious Thanksgiving dinners. But there was never another like our first one! The most important thing for me at Thanksgiving is taking the time to be thankful and celebrating with friends and family. I have also adopted my own traditions and always enjoy the cooking, decorating and gathering around the bounties of the table.
Happy Thanksgiving. You are my inspiration!