|Part of Thanksgiving Dinner 2014; it was the only picture I |
had taken that day.
I began to be humbled that day. I had been fighting Mexico. I had been fighting to hang onto the person that I became when I was alone in the US, making "money", and doing everything "on my own". I put those in quotation marks, because I wasn't really doing anything except being a selfish, spoiled brat. I was unhappy in Mexico, unhappy in my life, unhappy with Hector, but really, I was unhappy with myself. I had no phone, I had very little money, and our little apartment felt more like a jail cell. But, after that Thanksgiving, I began to see differently. After 4 months in Mexico, I began to see people around me, who were a lot less fortunate. I had looked at them before, but I had never really seen them. My kids may not have had their own bedrooms, but we were not sleeping in the park. I may not have been able to make a turkey for Thanksgiving, but we had food to eat every night, and some of those people I shared the ham with might not have. I didn't have a stove to cook on, but I had friends who did and were willing to open their home to me, regardless of how selfish and insufferable I may have been before that day.
This year, I will gather with part of my family, and stuff my face. Not because I am a glutton, but because I am thankful to have enough food this year. There were times in Mexico where we really didn't have enough to be really full. I have put my kids to bed hungry. This year, on this day, I will not have to do that. I hope and pray I never have to do that again. A lot of people talk about being "grateful" for having a roof over their heads or having enough to eat, but most of them don't know what that really means. I didn't before, but I do now. My entire perspective on what "being thankful for my blessings" has changed. Not because I know what my blessings are, but because I know what it means to truly be thankful. Being thankful isn't talking about it without trying to experience the other side.
This year, I am thankful that I have enough to eat. I am thankful for my mom's always open doors that allow me to go back and forth between Oregon and Mexico without ever feeling like a burden. I am thankful that my children have food and a roof over their heads, even though we're so far apart. I'm thankful for my fertility, that God has given us another healthy child. I am thankful that I am Catholic, because without God and His Church I would never have made it through that first year in Mexico- I probably would have killed myself. I am thankful that I see people now. I'm thankful for my blankets, because I am not cold at night. I'm thankful for the amazing nurses and CNAs that I rub shoulders with on a regular basis. I'm thankful that I still have my parents with me to help me navigate adulthood, because at 27, I still don't really have the hang of it. I'm thankful for my mother-in-law who loves on my children and keeps them Mexican and who gave me my husband; without her, I wouldn't have my kids.
And mostly, I am thankful for Mexico, the beautifully diverse country that opened it's doors to me and my family when I felt like the US turned it's back on us. I now accept that Hector and I will not be returning to the US as a complete family unit, but Mexico has created a brand-new type of freedom that we could never have had in the US.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone. Truly be thankful for every situation, good or bad that you experience.