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More thankful than ever

Reflecting on what we are thankful for is a tradition for many of us on Thanksgiving, but this year, it may carry more meaning than usual. The number of people losing their jobs and struggling to pay their bills and feed their families, is so much greater than usual.

My mom just told me that her husband (of three years, so not exactly my “step-dad” but a great addition to the family!) won’t be able to retire when he was planning to because of his diminished retirement account. I?ve heard other similar stories.

I know a few other moms who have recently taken on full-time jobs outside the home for the first time in years, due to necessity. One, the mom of my oldest son?s friend, told me that her oldest son was “set” for college until recently, when they lost a lot of money due to the current financial mess.

My own husband is an Investment Officer, or Financial Advisor. I swear that the number of gray hairs on his head have doubled in the past month…He is particularly drained from having to be the sounding board for many of his worried clients. He needs to be reassuring to them, all the while dealing with the reality of just how tough things are with the current economy.

All of this is depressing, but true. I’m sure everyone has his/her own story to tell. I hope, though, that this Thanksgiving will give us all the chance to put our worries aside-at least for a day. To appreciate our children and what a joy it is to watch them grow and do amazing, new things just about every day. To appreciate a delicious meal and be thankful that we are able to have it, while more people than ever before will be turning to soup kitchens and counting on donations for theirs.

My family has to dig deeper into their pockets than usual to put together this year’s big feast, as do so many others. I will take the time to enjoy every bite (if my kids will let me) and the company of family and friends. I will miss my grandfather, as usual, and be thankful for the memories I have of him. I will be thankful for the chance to spend yet another Thanksgiving with my grandmother, now 86 years old.? I hope we can all take the time to reflect on what we do have during this time of hardship and find the faith to believe that it will get better.

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