What I'm Thankful For -by Alex Parker




Today — November 22nd, 2018 — is a big day. An important one. One that will be remembered. By many. For years to come.

A holiday.


A special day.

A day of thanks.

And this is what I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful for the days gone by. The ones just like today, that I saw through the eyes of a child —

The Thanksgivings when I got up and got dressed and rode with my parents and sister to my great-grandparents’ house. To see my aunt, my uncles, and my cousin.

To sit around the table with my great-grandparents. And their daughter. And her husband — my dad’s parents.

My family was medium-sized.

I’m thankful for years later, waking up on Thanksgiving Day and venturing to my uncle and new aunt’s house. To see them and my other aunt and uncle, my two cousins, my grandparents and great-grandparents. Our family was growing.

I’m grateful to have awakened on Thanksgivings thereafter, to see my uncles and aunts, my three cousins, my grandparents, great-grandparents, sister, my brother-in-law, and my nephew.

My cousin’s new husband.

And later, their two kids.

Our family was big.

Then came my niece.

I’m thankful for that day — a big Thanksgiving for a big family, making big memories.


Then left my great-grandfather.

And my great-grandmother.

Our family was getting smaller.

My grandfather.

And grandmother.

Smaller, still.

Then went my cousin and her family, as they forged their own traditions.

My sister kept more to her home. Her husband. Her kids. Her new grandchild.

Our big family began to splinter. Those who once were together invested in their own holidays.

From those smaller parts will grow other big families. And big Thanksgivings.

It’s sad to see my big family go.

But I remember the peak — when we had the most people and the most love. When we knew who we were — a family with a name. And a Thanksgiving, with rooms filled with conversations and children playing and people laughing and the biggest memories of my big life being made.

Do you remember yours? Your biggest time? Are you creating that now, for your children? Your grandchildren?

Has your family gotten small, not yet having grown big again?

Life is an ebb and flow. Like the stream of my tears now, as I remember. Do you?

Today, I do. And I am thankful for that. I hope you are, too. As you build what got smaller into something bigger again. For your children. And theirs.


And ours — the children of America…who need big Thanksgivings. With big families. So that one day they’ll remember, as do I. As do you. Remember the joy, so they can pass it on.

Be thankful today. That we can. And, God willing, we will.

Happy Thanksgiving.

-Alex Parker


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