To the family past, and the family present, and the family future… I just want to express my gratitude.  I do not want to use words like sincere, or thankful, because I think words lose taste if they’re over used. I wish that words spoken or written could actually carry, and offer, feeling.

Some do.

There are people in our lives who have been family even when they aren’t related to us.  They shape us, and carry us through tough times.  They provide laughter, and cherished moments.  Sometimes, their influence is temporary, and fades.  Other times, they stay forever.

Family is who we are.  Who we have been, and are yet to be.

We take what was given to us – the moments, the laughter, the tears –  and we share it.  We pass on legacies daily.

I hope that every person who has ever gifted me with a moment that shaped me, and influenced my kids, the people that MADE us, knows the enormity of their lives in our hearts.  It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

As a baby, I was lifted over the fence to the loving arms of a neighbor, whom I still have the privilege to know.  I grew, and carried with me, smiles that were so tender they embedded themselves into my skin.  I hope I’ve shared them just the same. Friends took my hand when I thought my world crashed down in middle school, and again, they are still there for me to this day. My family, all of them, have stood by my side, in every moment.  Sometimes they tip-toed around my fragile self, sometimes they boldly told me to shape up when I needed to hear it, and sometimes we just sat, quietly, trying to survive.

I believe that none of the people that I call family are in my life on accident.  I know that we are here, in this exact place, with those that surround us, for a very big purpose.  We love each other the way we were meant to.  Our arms are perfectly strong enough to carry our present burdens.

It is all too beautiful to be placed by chance.

We are all here for that very big purpose.

Words can’t carry feelings, but we can.  I hope that every person in my life understands what I am trying to say.  You matter to me.  I love you deeply.

I will do my best to continue, daily, to pass on that legacy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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