As Thanksgiving approached, I was thinking about the meaning of being thankful. I wanted to write about it but I kept wondering if I could when there are people being killed by barrages of bullets or losing their homes and dying in the worst forest fires in California’s history.
All I had to do was look outside and see the beauty of nature, or look around my dinner table and see my family and friends, and I knew I was blessed, but something about gratitude was stuck for me this year.
Then the day before Thanksgiving, my son's friend Kris was killed in a terrible car accident.
One thing no one ever told me when I had children was that I would fall in love with their friends. I never expected that they would become such an important part of my life, but they have, and that has been an unexpected gift.
So with the loss of another one of my children’s friends (and sadly this is not the first or even the second such loss) my despair was beyond words. Feeling my son’s pain and understanding there was nothing I could do was excruciating, but knowing the horrific grief Kris's family was experiencing was beyond anything I could contain.
Sadness enveloped me. I kept thinking that I should be grateful, but I wasn’t. What right did I have to be appreciative of anything when so many were in pain?
And then I remembered Kris’s openness, his honesty, and his beautiful smile that lit up a room and warmed my heart. I knew what I had to be grateful for—the fact that he had graced my life. No matter how sad I felt, I couldn’t let that overshadow Kris's spirit.
At the loss of each one of my children’s friends my heart broke. Yet, the truth is I was blessed; I had the opportunity to fall in love with each one of them.
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