How to Learn the Value of Thanksgiving

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Miss it. I was contagiously sick. The kind you can’t hide because you sound and look awful and no one wants to get near you. 50+ years and this is a first I never wanted to experience, especially because my beautiful niece and her family were joining us at my oldest daughter’s apartment, something that doesn’t happen often enough.

Jill's husband, Chris, and my granddaughter Cait at a dance. He's one of the nicest men I know.

Jill’s husband, Chris, and my granddaughter Cait at a dance. He’s one of the nicest men I know.

My firstborn, Jill, whose smile lights up the city.

My firstborn, Jill, whose smile lights up the city.

AND, as if we don’t have an incredibly selfish amount to be thankful for, Jill couldn’t drink any wine because she and Chris are going to have another baby! Patrick  turned 9 months on the 16th, so the love that we are surrounded by continues to grow, and at the end of April we look forward to another healthy bundle of love.

My "baby," Jackie," and this tall guy hanging around her A LOT:) He's Drew and he's a great guy, too.

My “baby,” Jackie,” and this tall guy hanging around her A LOT:) He’s Drew and he’s a great guy, too.

To think, when I was pregnant with my second daughter, Jackie,  I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough love left, I just loved Jill so much.  I couldn’t imagine until Jackie entered our life how love is an infinite gift. It makes me think we should make every day Thanksgiving.

My niece, Nikki, and her handsome husband Jason. Nikki is the placeholder for my mom, dad, her mom and my brother, gone too soon-and she will never know what that means to me.

My niece, Nikki, and her handsome husband Jason. Nikki is my placeholder for my mom, dad, her mom and my brother, gone too soon-and she will never know what her presence means to me.

After all, we’ve long disregarded the true meaning of the holiday, and with all the nasty finger-pointing and meanness going around, we should awake every morning to a sign that says, “We don’t need turkey and dressing to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving Everyday!”

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Pox and Pax–there are no words.

Here are some of the people I missed so much it hurt my heart last Thursday. Some of the pictures were taken on Thanksgiving, others weren’t. And I don’t have everyone here.

But to all of you, I missed you as much as I love you, and I could not be more thankful to have you in my life. I am one lucky woman.

Cousins Caitlin & Brayden (Nik & Jason's son).. Friends for life.

Cousins Caitlin & Brayden (Nik & Jason’s son). Friends for life.

Jason & Nik's daughter, Brynlee. When I see her I get goosebumps. Mimi-mom.

Jason & Nik’s daughter, Brynlee. When I see her I get goosebumps. Mimi-mom.